Sep 8, 2022 - News

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II's visits to Virginia

Queen Elizabeth II watches a performance at Jamestown Settlement in Virginia with US Vice-President Dick Cheyney
Queen Elizabeth II at Jamestown Settlement with then-Vice President Dick Cheney and then-Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine in 2007. Photo: Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 on Thursday, ending her seven-decade rule over the United Kingdom and its commonwealth realms.

With four visits to Virginia (including one stop in Richmond) in her 70-year reign, the queen visited the Old Dominion more than any other state during her trips to the U.S.

Here's a look back at her visits:

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Oct. 1957 β€” She came for Jamestown's 350th anniversary, including a stop at William & Mary and an overnight stay at the Williamsburg Inn.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh look at a plaque commemorating the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown 1957
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, look at a plaque commemorating the 350th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ July 1976 β€” For the U.S. bicentennial celebration, her tour included a brief visit at UVA and Monticello in Charlottesville.

Gerald Ford (1913-2006) 38th President of the United States 1974-1977, dancing with Queen Elizabeth II at the ball at the White House, Washington, during the 1976
President Gerald Ford dancing with Queen Elizabeth II at the White House ball during the bicentennial. Photo: Universal History Archive/Getty Images

πŸŽ– May 1991 β€” A visit to the White House included a visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 14, 1991 at Arlington National Cemetery, as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (C) looks on.
Queen Elizabeth II lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photo: Luke Frazza/AFP via Getty Images

πŸŽ— May 2007 β€” Queen Elizabeth's last visit to Virginia was for Jamestown's 400th anniversary.

  • She started the trip in Richmond with a tour of the Virginia Capitol grounds and with a speech before the state's General Assembly.
  • The visit came a few weeks after a mass shooter killed 32 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself.
Queen Elizabeth II and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine meeting Powhatan Tribal Member in front of Virginia State Capitol,
Queen Elizabeth II and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine meeting a Powhatan tribal member in front of the Virginia Capitol. Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What she said: "My heart goes out to the students, friends and families of all those killed, and to the many others who have been affected, some of whom I shall be meeting shortly," Queen Elizabeth said in Richmond in 2007.

  • Her plan to meet with survivors of the shooting was apparently leaked to the press prior to the trip, something then-Gov. Tim Kaine's staff was angry about, Politico reported in 2016, using emails archived by the Library of Virginia.
Queen Elizabeth II at the State Capitol Building is saluted by military cadets of Virginia Tech university, on May 3, 2007 in Richmond,
Queen Elizabeth II at the Virginia Capitol is saluted by military cadets of Virginia Tech University, who left a gap for a cadet killed in the shooting there. Photo: POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

In her General Assembly speech, the queen touched on the shift in historical context since her first visit to Jamestown, 50 years prior.

  • In 1957, she noted, the Jamestown anniversary was commemorated from the perspective of the white settlers, but "we are now in a position to reflect more candidly on the Jamestown legacy."
Office workers hanging Union Jack British Flag out window in front of Virginia State Capitol in Richmond
A Union Jack British flag hangs out a window of a Richmond office building in front of the Virginia Capitol in 2007. Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
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