The crowds roared as they heard the Queen’s train pulling into Matlock Train Station for her first official visit in 22 years.
Patriots gathered in the sunshine, waving flags and carrying bunches of flowers to present to Her Majesty upon arrival.
Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen arrived on an East Midlands Trains service shortly after 10am on Thursday.
Corporal Rachel Dakin, 16, of Birchover, was among the crowd with corporals Jess and Emily Greatorex, aged 18 and 16, of Matlock – representing the 140 Matlock Air Cadet Squadron.
Rachel said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Jess added: “We all want to be in the RAF. We would be fighting for Queen and country so we thought it would be nice to come and see her.”
Her Majesty, wearing a matching sky blue coat and hat, accepted a bouquet of flowers from eight–year–old Maggie Young, of Walton–on–Trent.
Spectators had travelled from far and wide, even camping nearby to catch a glimpse of the monarch.
Nat Day, of Codnor, and Suzanne Hockley, of Nether Heage, had arrived at 8am to make sure they had a good spot to see her from.
Nat said: “I couldn’t wait to see her. I wasn’t able to sleep the night before – I was so excited.
“She’s queen of our country and it’s not something you see every day.”
Matlock’s mayor Councillor David Barker commented: “I think it’s a great day for Matlock.”
He said he was there the last time the Queen visited 22 years ago and the weather was much better this time around.
“We had thick fog then and you couldn’t even see Riber Castle,” Cllr Barker added.
Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin commented: “It is always a great privilege to be involved in a Royal event particularly when it’s in one’s constituency.
“It’s been a number of years since the Queen last visited the Derbyshire Dales in an official function. I would expect her to get a warm welcome and she certainly did.”
Youngsters from All Saint’s Junior School, in Matlock, were among the many schoolchildren allowed to go down for a glimpse of Her Majesty.
Prince Philip stopped to speak to pupils Charlie Beeson and Max Fairbrother – both aged eight and from Matlock.
Max said: “I asked me what school I went to and I told him I went to All Saint’s Junior School. It was cool.”
Head teacher Mrs Caroline Newton said: “I think it was a fantastic opportunity for children to see Her Majesty and the Duke.
“They’ve been so excited to see her and it was lovely that the Duke stopped to speak to some of our pupils.
“It’s a wonderful experience and it’s so memorable for children. For the rest of their lives they will never forget.”
After leaving Matlock, the Queen and Prince Philip went to Lea Mills and Chatsworth House.