It's not quite the QE2! Queen and Prince Philip look a touch out of place as they brave Mersey cruise on amphibious duck boat for Diamond Jubilee visit
18:35 GMT, 17 May 2012
The Queen today showed her taste for adventure as she tried out one of Liverpool's most popular tourist attractions – an amphibious boat that can travel on both land and water.
Along with the Duke of Edinburgh, the monarch stepped gingerly on to the bright yellow duck boat, waving a shade uncertainly as it sailed off down the Mersey.
If she felt out of place on board the unusual contraption, the Queen tried not to show it, smiling graciously from the window as if she were on board the QE2, rather than pootling along on what some commented looked suspiciously like a floating skip.
The Queen and Prince Philip were in the north west of England for a second day, after visiting Burnley and Accrington yesterday.
It's not quite the Royal barge! The Queen and Prince Philip wave from the window of a bright yellow duck tours boat on the river Mersey in Liverpool today
Whatever you do Philip, just keep waving! Queen and Philip look slightly disconcerted by the duck boat ride today
City tour: The duck tour picked up the royals at Liverpool's Albert Dock after they had visited Merseyside Maritime Museum today – and unusually for the Queen, she looked less than enthused by the gloomy weather
Damp mood: As the weather worsened and the plastic windows were rolled down, the Queen allowed herself a little grimace
The royal two paid visits to Chester Zoo and Orford Jubilee Park in Warrington before heading to Liverpool and their duck tour.
Earlier, on her visit to the Cheshire zoo, the monarch had come face-to-face with a rhinoceros.
The Queen, who was wearing a coral dress and coat by Stewart Parvin and a matching hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, arrived at the zoo to loud cheers and applause from hundreds of well-wishers waving union flags.
Some had arrived as early as 6.30am to get a glimpse of the Queen. Gloria Ackerley, 65, from Delamere, Cheshire, arrived at 7.45am with her daughter Elizabeth, 40, and granddaughter Daisy, four. Mrs Ackerley said: 'We just want to see The Queen. She is such a special person and the Jubilee is a historic occasion.'
Mrs Ackerley brought a Union flag with her which had been in her family since the coronation, when they had a street party near their former Essex home.
After waving to the crowd, the Queen unveiled a plaque at the new 2 million entrance and gateway of the zoo – named the Diamond Jubilee Quarter – before meeting dignitaries.
She was greeted by various dance groups and members of the public who all applauded as she walked through the new gates.
The Queen and the Duke were then taken on a monorail tour of the zoo.
Is this thing seaworthy The boats may look cumbersome, but they are completely comfortable in or out of water
Wacker Quacker! The Queen was an unlikely sight on the Yellow Duckmarine tour this afternoon
Impressive view: The duck tour took in the sights of Liverpool city centre
Disconcerting: Smoke pumps out of the big yellow boat as it chugs out of the water after the tour, with the Queen and Prince Philip still mercifully in one piece within
They then split up as the Queen was taken to see the rhino paddock while the Duke was taken to see the elephants. The Queen was greeted by two rhinos who were resting on some hay.
She asked the keeper if they were 'keeping warm' and was then told about the zoo’s breeding programme. As she left the paddock she was entertained by a choir from Upton Heath Primary School in Cheshire. The 40-minute tour was rounded off when Ruby Pilgrim, nine, presented the Queen with a posy.
Ruby said meeting the Queen was 'exciting'.
Ruby, daughter of the zoo’s director general Dr Mark Pilgrim, said: 'She asked me if I liked ponies and seeing the birds and animals in the zoo.'
There were more cheers for the monarch as she left and made her way to her next visit in Warrington.
Dr Pilgrim said: 'To have her majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh join us on this most special of days, and in her majesty’s special year, is fantastic and a wonderful testament to what we are achieving through our passionate and dedicated staff.
'The Diamond Jubilee Quarter is aptly named and brings a sense of community as it is the first zoo public space,' he added.
In the pink: The Queen wore a cheerful coral coat and dress by Stewart Parvin and a hat by trusted milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan
All smiles: The Queen was greeted by children swathed in traditional African fabrics as she visited Chester Zoo today
We are sailing: The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles took to the water yesterday too, when they boarded a barge in Burnley as part of a tour of East Lancashire
Water welcome! The royals were met by thousands of flag-waving locals as they travelled by canal boat through Burnley town centre