Queen Elizabeth II had unique ties to North Carolina

·2 min read

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, has died at the age of 96. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon.

People in the Queen City are mourning the death of the queen.

Channel 9 reporter Erika Jackson spoke with families at Big Ben Pub on Elizabeth Avenue in Charlotte who said they were lifelong fans of Queen Elizabeth II.

“You grew up with the queen. My whole life, she’s been a part of my life. My mother loved her. We grew up watching every move the royal family made,” patron Pam Stowe said.

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Emily Williams shared a heartwarming memory from the day she saw the queen in 2015.

“I waved at her as she went by, and she came by close in her carriage,” Williams said. “That was an interesting and very exciting moment,”

Williams said that moment is more of a treasure since the queen passed away.

“Everyone in England, or whether you’re an American anglophile like myself, it’s just it’s a day of mourning, but it’s also a day of celebrating her life,” Williams said.

Williams said her next visit to Buckingham Palace will feel a bit different as a new monarch takes the British throne.

“It is sort of strange in the sense that we don’t really have the queen with us anymore. So it’s really there’s a there’s an emptiness that’s there,” Williams said.

ALSO READ: Queen Elizabeth dies: World leaders, celebrities remember the monarch

Queen Elizabeth II had a unique tie to North Carolina that many may not know about.

The first American football game the queen ever attended was in 1957, when UNC played Maryland.

The delegation from North Carolina, including Gov. Luther Hodges, presented her with a gift.

The Charlotte Observer covered the game from Maryland. According to the Observer, the queen was amazed no one was injured during the game.

She was quoted as saying, “How can they hit each other that hard without injury?”

Over the years, the queen developed a friendship with Charlotte native and evangelist Billy Graham.

According to the Billy Graham Library, Graham received an invitation to preach at Windsor Castle in the 1950s.

The visit marked the beginning of a budding friendship, and the two would meet a total of 12 times over the span of three decades.

Not only did they spend time together in the United Kingdom, but they also visited each other at the White House as well as in California.

(WATCH BELOW: World leaders, celebrities remember Queen Elizabeth II)