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Speculation was growing that the Queen may visit Portsmouth later on in the month to welcome home her son aboard HMS Invincible.

If she did, the city was sure to pull out all the stops to make it a day to remember.

Sources indicated that there was a strong possibility that the Queen would be in Portsmouth when Prince Andrew returned with Invincible from her long stint in the South Atlantic.

Buckingham Palace officials would not say whether the Queen would greet her son in Portsmouth, but it was understood that tentative plans were being made.

The deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council, Ian Gibson said: ‘If the Queen is coming down the city will be more than delighted.’

HMS Invincible had been in the South Atlantic since April and the welcome was expected to be unforgettable.