There was jubilation in the Stormont estate as the Queen paraded in an open-top car in front of 20,000 well-wishers.
The crowd was thick with union flags and a thousand cameras flashed as the apple-green dressed monarch and Duke of Edinburgh waved, smiled and took a brief walk to greet cheering crowds.
It marked the end of Northern Ireland`s two-day Diamond Jubilee celebration at the home of the regional power-sharing parliament and under the nose of a statue symbolising decades of political unionism. Stormont has been the stage for political demonstrations and rallies for decades but more recently has featured pop concerts and even Gaelic Athletic Association events.
The Edward Carson figure, a 12ft high bronze, dominates the mile-long Prince of Wales Avenue. It is dedicated to a former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party trenchantly opposed to concessions on the union at the time of Northern Ireland`s formation just under a century ago.
Unionists are celebrating the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant, which declared opposition to Irish Home Rule, this September and Lord Carson was the first to sign it .
On Wednesday the Queen was greeted near the sculpture by Lord Carson`s modern equivalent, Democratic Unionist Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson, and his wife Iris, who exchanged warm words with the monarch and Duke.
There had been slight problems earlier with the volume of people trying to get to the Stormont estate and the gates had to be kept open a little later to allow access. There were reports of park and ride buses struggling to make it through the traffic as roads around the site filled.
The crowd waited hours in relatively warm temperatures, with the special guest running slightly behind schedule because she had so many people to meet at her previous engagement, but she emerged suddenly from the gates of Stormont House clutching a railing in a dark red-coloured vehicle sporting the royal standard to waves of applause and people racing to security barriers to see her.