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Remembering Queen Elizabeth II’s royal visit to Houston nearly 30 years ago

England's Queen Elizabeth II accepts a bouquet of flowers during her 1991 visit to the Johnson Space Center.
England's Queen Elizabeth II accepts a bouquet of flowers during her 1991 visit to the Johnson Space Center. (NASA, Johnson Space Center)

HOUSTON – On May 22, 1991, thousands of Houstonians filled the streets waving British flags, hoping to get a glance of British royalty. It was a rainy Wednesday morning when Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Phillip were greeted by a choir group in front of City Hall.

This was a historic day for many Houstonians due to the fact that this was the first time the British monarch was visiting the Lone Star State.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the royals were on a 12-day tour of the United States and Houston was the second to last destination. Other cities in Texas included Austin, San Antonio and Dallas.

During the royal visit in Houston, the Queen met with the city’s then-Mayor, Kathy Whitmire. At the time she was presented with a key to the city.

After meeting with the mayor, Queen Elizabeth II listened to the sounds of a gospel choir performance at the historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in downtown.

You can watch a snippet of Queen Elizabeth II visiting the church below.

The royal couple also had a chance to visit the new Veterans Affairs hospital and the Johnson Space Center. Prince Phillips even spent several minutes playing with spacesuit gloves according to the Los Angeles Times.

England's Queen Elizabeth II accepts a bouquet of flowers during her 1991 visit to the Johnson Space Center.
England's Queen Elizabeth II accepts a bouquet of flowers during her 1991 visit to the Johnson Space Center. (NASA, Johnson Space Center)

The Queen ended her evening with a private dinner with guests from across Texas at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. This would be the final Texas event before heading to Lexington, Kentucky.

Although Queen Elizabeth has made several trips to this side of the pond since her 1991 visit, her majesty has not stepped foot on Texas soil since.


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