When Queen Elizabeth II visited Seattle

A flashback to March 7, 1983

Queen Elizabeth II wearing a coat and hat in Seattle, with former mayor Charles Royer.

Queen Elizabeth II was greeted by local leaders like former mayor Charles Royer.

Photo from Seattle Municipal Archives, No. 170874

Do you remember when Seattle was graced with royalty?

As news about Queen Elizabeth II’s death broke yesterday, some locals may have reminisced about March 7, 1983 — when the monarch swung by the Emerald City for a brief visit.

Seattle was the last stop on a 10-day, West Coast tour for the queen and her husband Prince Philip at the invitation of President Ronald Reagan, who hosted them at his California ranch. The royals went to Seattle Children’s hospital and then UW’s Hec Edmundson Pavilion where the queen spoke to a crowd of 8,500 spectators. She even told a joke about a 1859 conflict between the US + England that almost elevated into a war over a San Juan Islands pig. Well, you kinda had to be there.

When the queen + prince departed the city for Victoria, BC later that day, several bonfires were lit on Puget Sound’s shores to bid them farewell.

Since then, Queen Mary Tea Room in Ravenna has kept the British royal spirit alive locally — and paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth on its website: “She will be missed.”

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