The Return of Queen Elizabeth

May 15, 1991

It is gratifying that Queen Elizabeth II has maintained her interest in the Maryland sports scene through a long and glorious reign. The last time she took in a game, 43,000 fans cheered wildly as she and Prince Philip, in President Eisenhower's plastic-topped limo, circled the field at Byrd Stadium in College Park before watching the Maryland-North Carolina football showdown. It was Oct. 19, 1957.

The queen took her seat between Gov. Theodore R. McKeldin of the host state and Gov. Luther Hodges of the visitors. Governor McKeldin presented a puzzled Elizabeth with two arrows, the tribute required annually by the 1632 charter of the colony. The only breach in security came from nine-year-old Philip Goldstein, son of state Senate President Louis L. Goldstein, who got into the royal box for an autograph. The only breach in decorum came from a small group of hard-core extremists heard singing, "We don't give a damn for the whole state of Maryland; we're from Caroline."

Maryland upset favored North Carolina 21-7. Governor McKeldin provided a running commentary on the finer points. The Sun's royal-watcher reported that "Elizabeth, who was bundled in a mink coat and a coral wool blanket, listened to her lessons like a dutiful student, her brow often furrowed in perplexity." She was accustomed to weekly briefings on world politics from Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan. After the game, the queen toured her first American supermarket, the Giant in West Hyattsville.

This is reportedly the queen's ninth visit to the United States but only her third state visit. From time to time she looks in on her horses in Kentucky. She chose to watch the Baltimore Orioles on a conspicuous evening -- the game in which the Birds will turn it around and start their long-overdue winning streak. Her presence did wonderful things for the underdog Terrapins in 1957, and we're sure will inspire the Orioles no less.

Marylanders welcome her and look forward to future royal visits from the queen and her prince, for lacrosse and basketball.

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