Will royals hang around for 7th-inning stretch?

May 14, 1991|By Susan Baer and Jean Marbella

Washington -- Queen Elizabeth's desire to see a baseball game will require a short detour out of Washington during her four-day state visit, which begins today, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said. But, he added, "the queen and Prince Philip are very happy to be going to Baltimore."

The queen had asked that her schedule during the U.S. visit be "varied," according to her spokesman, and include such informal events as tomorrow night's Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics game at Memorial Stadium "to enable her to see aspects of American life she hasn't seen before."

Attending a baseball game, he said, "was one of several imaginative proposals that emerged between London and Washington."

And just how much of the game will the royal couple, accompanied by their host President Bush, actually watch?

"You'll have to wait and see," said her press secretary.

It may depend on just how enamored the 65-year-old monarch becomes of the wondrous sound of bat against ball and the inimitable splendor of the ballpark frank.

Such aspects of American life, after all, will be new to her. Indeed, said the British spokesman, "This is the first time she's been to a baseball match."

Greeting her at the stadium will be Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. The mayor and his wife, Patricia, are also among the 1,800 "prominent Americans" invited to a garden party at the British Embassy in Washington.

Mr. Schmoke "thinks the invitation is a tribute to the city and he is honored to represent the city at this event," said Clint Coleman, the mayor's spokesman. Mr. Schmoke, however, would not reveal what topics he might raise with the queen should they get a chance to exchange more than pleasantries.

"The mayor said it would be rude of him to say it to the press before he says it to the queen," Mr. Coleman said with a laugh.

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