On her first journey to New York, which took place in 1957, Queen Elizabeth II said that “a visit to New York for only a day is certainly a teaser.” And it wasn’t even a whole day that she was there; she just stayed for 15 hours.
Arriving by ferry, she was not disappointed by the cityscape she had only seen in photographs. “Wheeeee! ” In an unusually uncontrolled moment, she sobbed.
There is no way to know how much she took in on her journey upward. My colleague Robert D. McFadden would later write that she seemed to be “a small lady stuck in time” as she waved from a limousine and ticker tape fell from the sky. She continued her journey by visiting popular tourist destinations, such as the Empire State Building, where she exclaimed that the vista was “tremendous.”
But the queen was no average traveller; she delivered a speech at the United Nations before she passed away on Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
When we met her, she was 31. On her second trip to New York, which took place when she was 50 years old and the year 1976 (the year of the Bicentennial), she stayed for a longer period of time than on her first trip. This was the year that America celebrated her independence from the British Empire. She headed to Bloomingdale’s for her shopping. She was given the title of honorary New Yorker by Mayor Abraham Beame.
Her third trip, in 2010, when she was 84 years old, was the shortest of the three. She and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, travelled all the way from Canada on a private jet to get here. They were only in New York for around five hours before they boarded the plane back to Britain.
There was not a single second that was thrown away. The Queen Elizabeth II Sept. 11 Garden in Lower Manhattan was officially inaugurated by the Queen, who was attired in a suit with floral patterns and wore white gloves. Isabel Carden, the treasurer of the British Memorial Garden Trust, a charitable organisation that commissioned the garden as a memorial to the 67 British citizens who perished in the attacks of September 11, said that the victim “had gone to the United Nations, given a speech, and gone to ground zero.”
Her second address to the United Nations, which took place in 2010, was just eight minutes long. Ban Ki-moon, who was serving as secretary general at the time, referred to her as “an anchor for our generation,” and she utilised the opportunity to reflect on the past. She added that over her lifetime, she had seen the United Nations transform from a lofty ideal into a powerful organisation working for the common good.
Carden said on Thursday that after that, the woman approached them. She spoke to each of the families. Never once was she made to feel rushed. She made an effort to talk to each and every one of the about 500 persons that were present. It was really fantastic.
Even when the temperature reached 103 degrees, the queen’s face did not exhibit any signs of sweating even though it was a hot day.
Collin Mitchell, a tax expert originally from Guyana and now residing in Brooklyn, waited patiently outside the garden for a period of five hours in the hope of seeing her. He shared his thoughts, stating, “My mother always brought her children out; she would take her whole brood to occasions like this, flag in hand.” He said that she had passed away five years previously and added, “I want to uphold that heritage.”