Tens of thousands of spectators lined the streets of Boston 46 years ago to welcome Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, during a 1976 visit, part of the country’s bicentennialcelebrations of the American Revolution.
A headline on the front page of the Boston Globe on Monday, July 12, 1976, reads, “200 years later, queen charms Boston,” according to the Globe archives.
A 21-gun salute fired from Old Ironsides welcomed the queen, who was 50 at the time, aboard Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia, then the vessel of the British monarch. Queen Elizabeth dressed for “Boston summer,” wearing a pink and white dress with a white hat with red trim, the Globe reported.
Then-Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis was there, along with Boston Mayor Kevin White, to welcome the queen as she disembarked from the yacht. He recalls the moment — and all the royal protocol — as a bit nerve wracking.
“We were told repeatedly to never touch her. You know, ‘Whatever you do, don’t touch her. Don’t take her by the hand. Don’t take her by the arm,’ ” Dukakis, now 88, said in an interview Thursday outside his Brookline home.
But then the queen, wearing tasteful low-heeled pumps, stepped out onto the slick gangplank and began sliding down the incline. Right toward Dukakis.
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