CELEBRATING OUR PASTHail to the Queen has special meaning in the Keys
As Queen Elizabeth II wraps up her Diamond Jubilee celebration, I am reminded of her 1991 visit to Fort Jefferson, a 19th century fort in the Florida Keys that is part of the Dry Tortguas National Park about 70 miles west of Key West.
Our office was involved in some of the trip's logistics including securing the opportunity for Wilhelmina Harvey, the late mayor of the Florida Keys and "Queen" of the Conch Republic, to welcome Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and her entourage.
I managed to wrangle a spot in the press pool to provide images to the Associated Press, United Press International and other media outlets.
After the queen and her party stepped ashore, Mayor Harvey gave her a Honorary Conch Certificate and a conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys.
During the presentation, I was a bit irritated because Queen Elizabeth had her back to the camera. I so much wanted to get her to turn around, but the British consulate press person had briefed us earlier and said that under no circumstances should we shout or instruct the queen what to do.
Posted - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 07:01 AM EDT