The Queen has paid a visit to Wales on Tuesday (8 June) for the inauguration of Cardiff University's Brain Research Imaging Centre and officially opened the fifth Welsh Assembly, stating it marked a "further significant development in the history of devolution in Wales".
Her Royal Highness, who turns 90 this weekend (her official birthday), was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and greeted by hundreds of people, some dressed in traditional Welsh costumes, chanting: "Happy Birthday," and waving flags. A 21-gun salute was also fired at Cardiff Pierhead to welcome the royal party.
The couple were also joined by their eldest son, Prince Charles, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall – the latter appearing to have taken sartorial inspiration from Her Majesty as they both wore turquoise. The family stepped off the Royal Train at Cardiff Central Station and to onlookers' surprise – perhaps in an awkward coincidence – Camilla Parker Bowles was dressed in a similar fashion to her mother-in-law with their statement green coats and colour-coordinated hats.
The Queen oozed her usual luminous style in a double-breasted, silver-buttoned turquoise green coat which she paired with black buckled loafers, a black handbag and a pearl necklace, while the Duchess of Cornwall went for a lighter shade of green in her flared coat and dress with nude accessories.
The Welsh and National anthems were played along with a royal salute before the Queen opened the fifth Welsh Assembly, addressing politicians in the Senedd stating that the institution was "an achievement in which all who care about Wales can take pride".
"Your responsibilities are great and the expectations are high, but I have no doubt you will continue to succeed as you discharge these new duties.
"I wish you every success as you prepare to meet the challenges of these constitutional changes, and to help realise the potential of the assembly for future generations," she added.
The Queen has had a long-standing affiliation with the National Assembly, making a speech at the opening in 1999 along with Prince Charles, and also opening the Senedd – the permanent home for The Assembly at the Senedd in Cardiff – in 2006.
Queen Elizabeth was later welcomed at the £44m Brain Research Imaging Centre by pupils from Grangetown Primary school and was later treated to demonstrations of Brain Games – interactive activities designed to teach children about the workings of the brain. The children also drew sketches of how the brain works and showed them to the Queen during her tour of the building.
The centre, known as CUBRIC, unites some of the world's leading experts in neuroimaging, clinical research and genetics in a bid to help solve the mysteries of the complex human brain. It aims to help scientists get a deeper understanding of the causes of a number of mental health issues from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism, along with neurological diseases including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: "It's an honour for the university and highlights the significance of the outstanding facilities here, including a specially adapted MRI scanner found in only one other location in the world."
Director of CUBRIC, Professor Derek Jones, said: "What a wonderful honour it is for us to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to our special centre.
"The royal opening is the culmination of a lot of hard work and I would like to thank all the people who have played a part, both within the university and outside it," he added.
Royal fans later sang Happy Birthday to Her Majesty has she made her way out of the centre.