Queen Elizabeth visits the sets of Coronation Street, the world’s oldest soap opera, to commemorate her 60th birthday

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The show briefly interrupted production twice and moved on to socially distant episodes with actors two meters apart, using camera tricks to get them to take a closer look.

British Queen Elizabeth II meets actors (LR) William Roache, Barbara Knox, Sue Nicholls and Helen Worth as she visits the filming of the long-running television series Coronation Street in Manchester, northwest England, on July 8, 2021. Scott Heppell / POOL / AFP

London: Queen Elizabeth II visited the set of the world’s oldest soap opera on Thursday, Coronation Street, praising the cast of the popular show as “wonderful” for continuing to weather the pandemic.

The British show is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest soap opera, broadcast for 60 years. The 95-year-old, who is the longest-serving British monarch, walked through the exterior set, including his famous cobbled street and the Rovers Return pub.

The royal visit belatedly celebrated the show’s 60th anniversary in December last year, and the show’s creators described to the Queen how the filming adjusted to the virus restrictions.

The show briefly interrupted production twice and moved on to socially distant episodes with actors two meters apart, using camera tricks to get them to take a closer look.

Outside of the Rovers Return, the Queen spoke to a group of actors, including Bill Roache, 89, who has appeared since the first episode as Ken Barlow, known for his female romances. “It is really wonderful that you were able to continue,” said the Queen.

“Well ma’am, you kept going,” Roache said, to laughter from the rest of the cast.

The Queen received a cobblestone from a previous set as a gift, but was warned not to step on cobblestones, however, this is no easy feat in high heels.

“No, I know. I’ve been told. It’s probably better not,” the Queen said.

The monarch has resumed her official duties since the death of her husband Prince Philip in April and is expected to mark 70 years on the throne next year.

She last visited the Coronation Street with Philip in 1982, while other royals have since arrived.


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