By historian Roger Bingham of Ackenthwaite:

UNLIKE modern royal tours, the arrival in Kirkby Lonsdale on July 24, 1840, of the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV, was virtually unheralded.

Indeed, the landlady of the Rose and Crown (soon to be renamed the Royal Hotel) had less than 24 hours’ notice to organise accommodation for the Queen.

In a ‘fearful scurry’ the preparations included draping the corridors of the inn with scarlet cloth which was later used by personages calling themselves the ‘ladies of the town’ to make petticoats for poor women.

The royal entourage was expected to leave Settle at 11am. Allowing two hours’ trotting time, by 1pm - with the church bells a ringing - the ‘neighbouring squires’ and the Lonsdale Brass Band and Friendly Societies with ‘gaily flowing colours’ were gathered at Devil’s Bridge to give Her Majesty ‘a warm Westmorland welcome’.

Then ‘they waited and waited’ but it was not until nearly 7pm that the first carriage stopped in the middle of the bridge ‘amidst deafening cheers led by pupils of the clergy daughter’s school at Casterton who immediately attracted the Queen’s attention.’

When the Queen had eventually progressed through the flag-bedecked streets she came out onto the hotel’s iron balcony to be greeted by ‘tremendous cheering from the dense crowds’.