Remembering Queen Elizabeth’s Visit to Massachusetts in 1976
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
It seems like whenever a monarch or foreign dignitary visits the U.S., they stop in cities such as New York or Los Angeles.
So it’s always a big deal when someone adds New England to their itinerary.
It’s hard to think of anyone more notable than Queen Elizabeth, who visited Boston in 1976.
It was July 11 – just one week after America’s Bicentennial celebration. In the ultimate show of good sportsmanship, the Queen was joined by Prince Phillip on her stop in The Hub (which, for a British Monarch, is akin to Derek Jeter attending a Duck Boat parade). Alas, even the distinction of being British Royalty didn’t spare Her Majesty from the full Boston experience, as her yacht – The Britannia – scraped its side while docking, according to the New York Times.
The Queen also went to services at the Old North Church, followed by ceremonies at the State House and mingling with Bostonians as she made her way through the city. Her Majesty even made time to Knight John Moreton, a British Minister living in Boston. At the time, it was believed to be the first knighting by a British monarch while visiting the U.S.
The Queen’s Heir, Prince Charles, visited Boston in 1986 to commemorate Harvard’s 350th anniversary. His Majesty also visited Lowell, which then (and now) served as a model for revitalizing industrial cities. Prince Charles was accompanied on the trip by Princess Diana.
More recently, Prince Williams made news when he announced (with the help of Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts) that his Earthshot Prize ceremony would take place in Boston.
The Queen's itinerary for her 1976 visit can be viewed via President Gerald Ford's Presidential Library.