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Information regarding visit of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II will visit the College of William and Mary on May 4, 2007, and take part in a brief program Friday afternoon in the Courtyard at the Sir Christopher Wren Building. queenvisit

Though sections of the Courtyard and surrounding areas will be reserved for invited and ticketed guests, the College announced today that specific locations near and around the Wren Building will be open to the public. The College has also arranged to complement those areas with several jumbo video screens for viewing areas that will not be as close to the program.

“We want as many people as possible to have a chance to witness this historic event at the College,” said Director of University Relations Michael Connolly. “While there will be some public viewing areas for Her Majesty’s visit, we want everyone who is planning to attend to be reminded that they won’t be alone. Parking in and around the campus is very limited and everyone should come early so that they can pass through the necessary security checkpoints. We hope everyone will enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to visit William and Mary Friday afternoon at about 2:00 p.m. Her Majesty will be greeted by William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol, Michael K. Powell, Rector of the College and Chancellor Sandra Day O’Connor, as well as members of the campus and local community including students, faculty, staff, and alumni in the Wren Courtyard, on the building’s west side. During a brief program in the Courtyard, the College of William and Mary Choir, as well as two a cappella groups, the Gentlemen of the College and the Accidentals, will perform for Her Majesty. President Nichol will also offer a welcome to the Queen. Following the program in the Courtyard, the Queen will tour the Wren Building and view the bell ringing traditionally reserved for seniors on their last day of class at the College.

William and Mary has issued tickets to students, faculty and staff, as well as some invited guests of the College. However, the College portion of the Queen’s visit will include a few areas for members of the general public to take part in the festivities.

Information for members of the public who want to attend:

  • VIEWING LOCATIONS FOR PUBLIC – For those who do not have tickets, there are two main locations to view the Queen. One public viewing area will be on the west side of the Wren Building, just outside the ticketed area in the Courtyard but still within sight of the program. Another, smaller viewing area, is available for the public on the east side of Wren Building in the Wren Yard. Both locations will have jumbo screens and both locations will be within the secured area of the program – meaning those who enter must pass through security checkpoints and magnetometers. In addition, members of the public can also take part in the activities farther west in the Sunken Garden, where they will not be required to pass through security. There will be no seats in any of these locations and the audience will be standing during the program. Guests in the ticketed and public areas should anticipate standing for an extended period of time – maybe several hours.

  • SCHEDULE – Usher tables and security checkpoints will begin allowing people into secured areas at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Expect lines as each person will have to pass through a magnetometer. The event should conclude by 3:30 p.m.

  • SECURITY CHECKPOINTS – There will be four access gates for both ticketed guests and members of the general public to enter the secured area. For those attending the program on the Wren Courtyard side, people can enter through two security checkpoint locations near Tucker Hall – this is the best entry point for those coming from Richmond Road. On the Jamestown Road side of the Wren Building, people heading to the Wren Courtyard should enter through a checkpoint/magnetometer station on the east side of Ewell Hall near the Sunken Garden. Members of the public hoping to catch a glimpse of the Queen as she walks from the President’s House to the Wren Building should enter through a checkpoint station just off Jamestown Road near the Brafferton Building across from the Campus Center.

  • PARKING – Parking spaces will be hard to find on Friday and extremely limited for the entire area surrounding the College. To help alleviate this problem, the College will not be ticketing parking lots usually reserved for students, faculty and staff.  Parking for the public will be available at 9 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis so expect challenges in finding a space. The best locations to find parking could be the lot adjacent to Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall on Jamestown Road, the former Common Glory at the corner of Jamestown Road and Ukrop Way and the College’s new parking deck on Ukrop Way. About 250 parking spots will be available at the site of the former Williamsburg Sentara Community Hospital located on Monticello Avenue. A shuttle between the hospital lot and Phi Beta Kappa Hall is being arranged by the College.

  • AUDIO/VISUAL – The College has arranged for five jumbo screens and a sophisticated audio system to broadcast live the program in the Courtyard. Four screens will be located near the Wren Courtyard/Sunken Garden area for members of the public. One screen will be located on the Wren Yard.

  • WHAT TO BRING/NOT TO BRING – No backpacks, bags, umbrellas, coolers, bottles, pets, or lawn chairs will be allowed inside the secured area. Cameras, cell phones and small purses will be allowed. However, expect each item to be searched at the checkpoint. Visitors heading to the public viewing areas will also be permitted to bring blankets since there will be no seats.

  • WATER/BATHROOMS -- The College will have stations inside the secured area providing free bottled water to ticketed guests and to the public. In addition, portable bathrooms will be located near the Courtyard and Yard public viewing areas.

  • ROAD CLOSURES – People should expect delays while driving in and around the campus and the City of Williamsburg for much of Friday. If you are not coming to welcome the Queen, you might want to wait until the late afternoon to come to the city. Richmond Road from North Boundary Street to Armistead Avenue (near the King and Queen Gate) will be closed for all traffic from 9 a.m. until the duration of the event. Portions of Boundary Street will also be closed throughout the day and traffic will be detoured to alternate routes. Jamestown Road will remain open but vehicles will not be able to turn left at College Corner, where Duke of Gloucester Street meets with Richmond Road and Jamestown Road.