Friday, May 20, 2022

A look back at Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s visits to Jamestown, Williamsburg

Prince Philip accompanied the queen to Jamestown and Williamsburg in 1957 and 2007. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — It’s been one week since the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

While the U.K. has declared a time of national mourning to last until his funeral on Saturday, April 17, the Historic Triangle is also remembering the life and legacy of Prince Philip.  

Local residents might recall that the patriarch of the British royal family made more than one visit to this area. 

Prince Philip accompanied the queen when she first toured Virginia on October 16, 1957. 

The royals flew to Patrick Henry Airport in Williamsburg on their first visit to Virginia. (WYDaily/Courtesy of the Library of Virginia)

The 1957 royal visit to Jamestown and Williamsburg were the first ever by a reigning British monarch.  

Americans have long been fascinated with the British royal family since before their 1957 visit.

When the queen and Prince Philip visited Jamestown for the 350th anniversary celebration of the founding of the former British colony, they were met with excitement from the local residents, who wanted to catch a glimpse at the queen and her husband. 

In 1957, Prince Philip accompanied Queen Elizabeth II at Jamestown Festival Park, now known as Jamestown Settlement. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

“Prince Philip stood by Queen Elizabeth II as she delivered remarks to more than 40,000 people at Jamestown Festival Park,” the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation recounted. 

Prince Philip stood by the queen’s side as she addressed a crowd at Jamestown Festival Park during their 1957 visit.(WYDaily/Courtesy of the Library of Virginia)

The queen and Prince Philip were just like two tourists as they explored Jamestown Island and Jamestown Festival Park, which was Jamestown Settlement in 1990.

The royals visited the three reproduction ships docked at Jamestown, even stepping aboard the Susan Constant. 

In addition to Jamestown, the queen and Prince Philip also visited Colonial Williamsburg, having tea at the College of William & Mary.

The royals visited Capitol’s Hall of the House of Burgesses in 1957. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)

Then they attended a reception held in their honor at the Governor’s Palace before having dinner at the Williamsburg Inn.  

Prince Philip and the queen visited the Williamsburg Inn during their first visit. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)

Fifty years later, Prince Philip accompanied the queen to the historic sites once again on May 4, 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding. 

During the two-day visit, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation once welcomed Prince Philip on board Jamestown Settlement’s flagship Susan Constant. 

The royals boarded the Susan Constant while touring Jamestown in 1957. (WYDaily/Courtesy of the Library of Virginia)

The royal couple also attended student education programs and presentations about America and Britain’s 400-year bond. 

“The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation was honored to host Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1957 and 2007,” said Tracy Perkins, spokeswoman for Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. 

Prince Philip and the queen returned to Colonial Williamsburg for a second time, where they rode in a carriage through Duke of Gloucester Street, waving to the crowd as they passed by.   

The royals took a carriage ride again down Duke of Gloucester Street during their 2007 visit. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)

People around the world are mourning the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh and remembering his legacy.

For locals, he was more than a revered British monarch — he was also just one of the many tourists to visit the Historic Triangle. 

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