HRH Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh headlined Leeds Arena today (Thursday 19 July) as they visited the £60m venue to unveil a plaque in celebration of the construction project’s topping out.

The Queen was in Leeds as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the tour began at Leeds Arena where the royal couple met members of the BAM team and construction workers who are building the £60m venue, which is due to be completed later this year.

Said Joshua Wilkinson, 18, a general construction apprentice from Leeds: ‘It was nice to meet the Queen. I expected to be really nervous around her but she makes you feel really calm. It's something I'll always remember.’

After enjoying an aerial acrobatic display and musical performances by local school children, the royal couple then went on to officially open the recently renovated City Varieties Hall, another one of BAM’s projects in the North East.

Says John Phillips, BAM Construction Director: ‘It was a great honour and pleasure to meet the Queen and we are all very proud to be working, and have delivered, two such iconic projects in Leeds. It’s been a very special day for everyone involved.’

Click here to view images of the visit.