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Queen thanks people of Gibraltar but declines invitation to visit

Official portrait of The Queen taken in the Centre Room in Buckingham Palace in December 2011 © Royal Household/John Swannell

Her Majesty the Queen said she has no plans to visit the Rock but “appreciates the loyalty of the people of Gibraltar”.

This comes as one third of the local population signed a petition requesting her to visit Gibraltar.

In a letter addressed to Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia the Queen said she greatly appreciates the loyalty of the people of Gibraltar but has no plans to visit Gibraltar in the foreseeable future with overseas travel very limited.

This letter was sent after she received a petition containing 10,000 local signatures.

“The United Kingdom and Gibraltar share a tight bond stretching back over three hundred years. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War,” the letter read.

"These anniversaries help us remember the countless sacrifices made by citizens of the United Kingdom and Gibraltar in defence of our shared values.”

The petition was created by members from Gibraltar’s New Movement, and Dr Garcia yesterday met with three representatives of the group, Mrs Liz Balban, Mrs Sheridan Borda and Mr Luis Edwards.

The Queen received the petition alongside a covering letter from Dr Garcia last August and her response arrived during last week’s general election.

The letter also recalls how she conveyed her best wishes to Former Governor Sir James Dutton and Chief Minister Fabian Picardo on September 9 after a joint congratulation was sent when she became the longest reigning Monarch of the UK and its Overseas Territories.