Remembering Queen Elizabeth II’s Three Visits To New York State
Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland this week. In her seventy years as Britain's monarch, she traveled around the world, including several visits to the Empire State.
Did you know that among her many titles and honors, she was also an honorary New York citizen? As the world remembers the Queen, here are the three times she visited New York during her reign.
Queen Elizabeth's first visit to New York was filled with all the grand pageantry you'd expect for visiting royalty. She first arrived in Staten Island and took an Army ferry to Manhattan. She came specifically to address the United Nations for the first time since her coronation in 1953.
The Queen was given a full ticker-tape parade, with millions of New Yorkers packing the streets to get a glimpse of the young ruler. She took the opportunity to also visit the Statue of Liberty and the top of the Empire State Building. It was an experience she talked about for years and helped shape her next visit, almost twenty years later.
Queen Elizabeth's second trip to New York ironically coincided with the celebration of America's bicentennial, but the ruler seemed to take it in good stride. She first went to Trinity Church and collected back rent the church owed to the British crown: by law, 279 peppercorns. (How do I work out this rent deal for my apartment?) Maybe most impressive of all, the Queen was made an honorary New York citizen during this visit.
The highlight of her second stay, by far, was a shopping trip to Bloomingdale's, at the Queen's direct request. She wanted to shop where New Yorkers shopped, and so she did, floor by floor. She was even greeted by Calvin Klein, when she came to his clothing section.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited New York for the last time on July 6, 2010. They had just completed an eight day Canadian tour and spent one day in NYC before returning home.
The Queen once again addressed the United Nations assembly, more than a half century after her first speech.
Queen Elizabeth then met New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center site for a memorial service. It was a sweltering summer day in the City with temperatures climbing above 100.
The Queen and Prince Philip laid a wreath at the Ground Zero memorial in honor of the British and Commonwealth citizens who died in the World Trade Center on September 11th. The royals also took the opportunity to visit the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Memorial Garden at Hanover Square with Mayor Bloomberg.
The Garden contains a yellow magnolia named after the Queen that was planted in 2009 by her grandson, Prince Harry.