Coventry & Warwickshire

Queen officially opens RSC theatre and justice centre

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have visited Warwickshire to open a new one-stop justice centre and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) theatre.

They viewed an empty cell and the Judges' Bench in the crown court at the formal opening of the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa.

It combines a police station, crown court and criminal justice agencies.

The royal party then arrived at the theatre in Stratford which opened to the public in November.

Birthday season

They were watched a short performance of the balcony scene from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

The re-vamped Royal Shakespeare Theatre includes a new auditorium with more than 1,000 seats and a colonnade linking it with the Swan Theatre.

The three-year project cost the RSC £112m.

Visitors can also use the new restaurant, cafe, four bars and a new riverside walk.

People can also go up the new 36m (118ft) high tower, where they will be able to see across four counties on a clear day.

The official opening by the The Queen coincides with the company's 50th birthday season.

Onlookers in Leamington Spa told BBC News she "looked beautiful" dressed in pink.

"She really looked gorgeous and now we've made an effort to come down we'll wait and hopefully the sun will come out," one said.

The new £26m justice centre in the town took two years to build with the aim of carrying out justice more effectively and efficiently.

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