9.10.2022 – Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth
Michigan fan true colors
amazing maize and blue

Queen Elizabeth II was a Michigan fan.

I have that on the authority of my Dad.

Back back back to the days of the Glorious Bicentennial of the United States of America, the powers that be decided that it would be great if the President of the United States hosted a State Dinner (White tie no less) to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd, 1776.

(It WAS July 2nd – you can ask John Adams.)

It was also decided that the principle guest would be none other than the Queen of England, the Great-Great-Great Grand daughter of George III, the feller to whom, the Declaration of Independence was addressed.

BTW the Queen, in her remarks at the dinner did say, “After all, nobody can say that what happened on the 4th of July, 1776, wasn’t very much a bilateral affair between us.”

The dinner was held on July 7, 1976 and you can read all about here. (Notice that the official instructions for the President remind him to pause at the foot of the steps at 8:12pm)

By chance and by the workings of the Constitution, when Queen Elizabeth got out of the car that brought her and her husband to the White House for that State Dinner, none other than those wonderful Grand Rapidians, Jerry Ford, graduate of Grand Rapids South High School and his wife, Betty Ford, graduate of Grand Rapids Central High School were there to greet them.

PBS TV made arrangements to broadcast the dinner on live TV and it was one of the few Bicentennial specials that most of my family watched together.

PBS assembled an all-star cast to deliver commentary that included Julie Child who was concerned that due to the Washington July heat and the fact that they were eating outside in a big tent, many of the dishes might melt on the plate … but would still taste good.

We were watching as PBS showed the Ford’s come out of the diplomatic entrance on the South Side of the White House.

We were watching as the Queen’s limo pulled up.

We were watching as the Queen got out and stood with the Ford’s.

The Queen was wearing a bright yellow gown with a navy over-the-shoulder sash.

“Hey”, my Dad said, “Maize and blue! The Queen must be a Michigan Fan!”

President Ford was a graduate of the University of Michigan.

President Ford had also played football for the University of Michigan.

My Grand Father was a graduate of the University of Michigan.

My Father was a graduate of the University of Michigan.

At the time, it was 8 years before I could say I was a graduate of UofM.

I am still not sure how I managed to graduate but my roommates told me, Michigan has taken steps so it won’t happen again.

My Dad laughed and looked at me and said, “Or do you think the British advance team did their research and picked out the colors?”

I looked at my Dad and shrugged.

My Dad turned back to the TV and said, “Well, I think she is a Michigan fan.”

Who can argue?

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