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Letter: Queen will be remembered well

As everyone knows by now, Queen Elizabeth II passed away Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland. She was 96 years old and had reigned 70 years as Britain’s longest serving monarch. She was admired the world over for her grace, diplomacy and steadfast loyalty to the British Empire. 

One of the great honors in my life was the privilege of meeting Queen Elizabeth at Monticello in Charlottesville in July 1976, when she and her husband, Prince Phillip, came to celebrate our Bicentennial. I had only been in the Virginia House of Delegates two and a half years at the time. I represented the counties of Alleghany and Botetourt. I stood with 40 senators and 99 members of the House of Delegates as the Queen and Prince Phillip came down the line speaking to each one of us. There was no handshaking — you did not touch the Queen. She looked each one of us in the eye, smiled warmly, and said, “How do you do? So nice to see you.” I have never forgotten that moment and I doubt that any member of the General Assembly present that day has forgotten. It was a “royal” moment and we stood in awe.

From all accounts, Queen Elizabeth II will go down in history as one of the greatest British monarchs of all time. She ruled with grace, dignity and a wonderful sense of humor. It is said that she met with all of the United States presidents during her reign, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson. In our country, the Queen had a great ally.

I would like to join with you and the rest of the world grieving her loss and celebrating her wonderful life. The likes of Queen Elizabeth will probably not come again.

Bill Wilson, Covington

Wilson is an attorney and politician who served from 1974 to 1990 in the Virginia House of Delegates.

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