Last Wednesday Her Majesty the Queen became the country's longest reigning Monarch - 'overtaking' the record set by Queen Victoria.
By chance it was this same day that Year Six visited the Houses of Parliament, accompanied by staff, a Governor and a Parent.
We entered through the new education centre, a new facility just a week old. In this 'state of the art' facility we were given a 'virtual tour' of the House of Commons.
Then, having been split into two groups we were taken on a tour, where we learnt many interesting facts. In 1834, for example, there was a fire in the Houses of Parliament. Stone masons, leather workers, artists, guilders and wood carvers have spent over a century carrying out restoration.
The building and all its artefacts were finally restored in 2010, but work continues on preserving what is such an important part of our history. For example many of the wonderful mosaic tiles throughout the building are in the process of being restored by a specialist company from Shropshire. Each tile is being removed and copied by hand then replaced.
We returned to the Education Centre for a workshop on how a Bill is made into an Act of Parliament, i.e. a new law or 'statute'. The pupils chose on a law, which was then drawn up, debated in the House of Commons then 'ping-ponged' backwards and forwards between the House of Commons and the House of Lords until any disagreements were resolved. After this, a Bill becomes an Act, which is signed by the Queen (the 'Royal Assent') before becoming law.
As we came out of the Palace of Westminster we were delighted to see the Royal Barge sail down the Thames, in celebration of the Queen's long and happy reign.