This week in Down Memory Lane, I recall a major historical event held at Tilbury Fort, which many members of the community will remember, in August 1988!

It celebrated the 400th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to rally the troops waiting in West Tilbury to repel the expected invasion of the Spanish Armada! The Queen’s speech to her assembled foot and cavalry troops is one that many recall.

I often quote the middle of her speech when giving talks on our unique Thurrock heritage “…but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all, to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood, even the dust.

"I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms”.

In 1988, Thurrock Council commissioned the actress Kate O’Mara, well-known for her film, stage and television work, to play the Queen at Tilbury Fort in the Great Armada Pageant re-enactment on August 6 and 7.

Many will have forgotten that role compared to her most widely known role as Caress Morell, the scheming sister of Alexis Colby, in the Eighties American primetime soap opera Dynasty. Many will also recall her TV roles in the Brothers, Howard’s Way and Triangle amongst many other roles during her long acting career.

Sadly, she died on Sunday, aged 74, after a short illness.

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