Queen Elizabeth drops in on wedding

March 24, 2012 at 1:12 PM

MANCHESTER, England, March 24 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth II of Britain made an unscheduled stop Saturday to greet a couple who got married while she was in Manchester town hall.

Frances and John Canning said they were notified some time ago first that a very important person would be at the town hall during their ceremony and later that it was the queen, the Manchester Evening News reported. They decided to invite her to the wedding.

"I'm a big fan of the royal family," Canning said. "When we found out who the VIP was we wrote to her, a bit light-heartedly, and got a nice letter back from a lady in waiting. We didn't expect anything further to come from it."

What they got was the queen, Prince Philip and others in the royal party greeting them after they tied the knot.

"When we had our ceremony, the staff asked us to wait for a moment in the corridor and just a few minutes later the queen arrived," Frances Canning said. "She knew both our names and apparently we had been especially added to her rota."

Hayley Fitzpatrick, one of their 40 guests, said she was so surprised by the visitors she "knocked something over" and Elizabeth inquired whether she had hurt herself.

The queen is making the rounds during her Diamond Jubilee year. Her visit to Manchester and Salford on Saturday included a banquet in the town hall.

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