Remembering Queen Elizabeth II's 1991 trip to Texas
AUSTIN, Texas - It was May 1991. Queen Elizabeth II and Governor Ann Richards walked into the capitol rotunda as part of the English Royal swing through Texas.
An honor choir from Austin ISD sang. Another group danced in traditional costumes. Richards’ granddaughter Lily Adams was among the children who presented flowers to the queen.
The Queen’s stop in Austin was covered by FOX 7 Austin reporter Keith Elkins. In the state House chamber the Queen was given several pairs of boots, and a resolution from state lawmakers.
"I thank you ... the members of both Houses, for this generous resolution, and also for your very kind gifts for my grandchildren," she said.
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Large crowds gathered at the capitol to see the Queen and Prince Phillip. "Outside I may be an American, but in here, I’m British at heart," said a woman in the crowd.
One child was impressed by the Queen’s floral outfit. "Her hat, you normally don’t get those in Austin," said the young girl.
Governor Richards expressed pride, regarding the turnout. "She was really delighted with the crowds. I was too," said Richards, who reportedly had a cold that day.
While in Austin, the royal couple toured a computer chip facility and also went to the LBJ Library. Thursday, Luci Baines Johnson was at her father’s presidential library and spoke about the royal visit.
"Just feeling a sense of I was a part of history, I was in their wake, telling them I knew they belonged to Great Britain but I really felt they belonged to the world," said Johnson.
As the Queen sat with dignitaries at the LBJ Museum, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported the several members of the British press took a pass and spent the evening at an iconic Austin night spot, The Broken Spoke.
In speaking to the crowds that came to see her in Austin, the Queen is quoted as saying; "Lesser mortals are pitied for their misfortune in not being born Texans."
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The Queen also visited Houston, Dallas and San Antonio in 1991. Before coming to Texas, she attended a state dinner with President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. Later in 2007 she came back to the U.S. and another Bush White House.
President George W. Bush in a statement Thursday said:
"Queen Elizabeth ably led England through dark moments with her confidence in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow. Our world benefited from her steady resolve, and we are grateful for her decades of service as sovereign. Americans in particular appreciate her strong and steadfast friendship."