The Washington Post

A moment with the queen


In July 1976, Queen Elizabeth II came to Washington for a state dinner with President Gerald Ford. I was 18 and had just moved to D.C. four months earlier from a small town in rural Pennsylvan­ia. I was working at a flower shop/plant store on Pennsylvan­ia Avenue just a block from the White House, which gave me a front-row seat for a lot of exciting things happening right down the street. Pretty awesome for a young, wet-behindthe-ears girl from a small town.

Walking down Pennsylvan­ia Avenue one day looking to get some lunch, I saw a small crowd gathered in front of Blair House, the president’s guesthouse for visiting dignitarie­s. Curious, I walked toward the crowd and got to the front of the sidewalk barrier. My timing was good, because within a few minutes the queen came out and walked to a waiting limousine. Even though it was 46 years ago, I still have those images in my mind’s eye. She was wearing a bright green dress with a pattern of white shapes and white gloves and carried a purse. As the limo drove away, she waved to us from the window. I remember pinching myself and thinking wow, I sure live in a pretty cool place. Sure not in Kansas anymore.

Vicki Lindsay, Mclean

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