SAN ANTONIO — The news of Queen Elizabeth's death Thursday brought back many memories for Texans of her trip to the Lone Star State more than 30 years ago.
In May 1991, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch became the first to come to the Lone Star State. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, took a 13-day trip through the United States that included three days in Texas. They visited San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston.
"If we look at what that means in the long term as we see changes in the global economy and what San Antonio's role is going to be, it's important to be recognized in Mexico, in Great Britain, the Pacific Ric and around the world," one onlooker told KENS 5 on that day.
During a speech in Austin, she gave some comments and praise for the pride that she sees in Texans.
"No state commands such fierce pride and loyalty," Queen Elizabeth II said at the time. "Lesser mortals are pitied for the misfortune in not being born Texan."
Meanwhile, in San Antonio, she took a visit to some iconic San Antonian locations.
The queen visited the Institute of Texan Cultures, Arnesan River Theater, the River Walk and even took a boat trip along the San Antonio River, where she was treated to music that filled the air and a swarm of handheld British flags among the crowd.
She and Prince Phillip arrived to San Antonio in the morning of May 21 and stayed a little less than two hours. They then left in the afternoon to Dallas, where they spent the night at a hotel.
"It was marvelous," a woman from England said at the time. "And to be so closer to her, that was even more wonderful."
As Princess Elizabeth, she made her first public broadcast in 1940 when she was 14, sending a wartime message to children evacuated to the countryside or overseas.
In February 1952, George VI died in his sleep at age 56 after years of ill health. Elizabeth, on a visit to Kenya, was told that she was now queen.