Queen Elizabeth II's death: Houston officials recall her majesty's visit to Bayou City in 1991

Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8 after serving 70 years on the throne, making her the longest reigning British monarch.

Friday, September 9, 2022
Houstonians reflect on Queen Elizabeth II's visit 30 years ago
Houstonians are paying tribute to the memory of Queen Elizabeth II, who is being remembered as someone who treated everyone as an equal.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Thursday, the City of Houston, along with the rest of the world, mourned the death of the longest reigning monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1991, during her visit, the former mayor of Houston, Kathy Whitmire, gave the queen a key to the city.

Whitmire told Eyewitness News that that was the most memorable moment for her during her time in office.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent three days in Texas.

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The highlight, for many, was their trip to Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, which was built and organized by formerly enslaved people.

Jacqueline Bostic, the great-granddaughter of Jack Yates, attended services along with the queen.

"They had wanted to see the gothic building on the second floor, and so they had wanted to come. They asked if we would do service, and we were very honored, and naturally, she was," Bostic said. "I'm glad that my mother was still alive and she had an opportunity to meet her and spend some time with her."

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The current pastor, who is married to Bostic's granddaughter, still feels the significance.

"Her visit comes on the heels of South African individuals who were released from apartheid," Pastor Lou McElroy, the current senior pastor, said.

"So, with all the political upheaval going on at the time, we find it significant that she chose this historical church to worship," McElroy said.

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"She's the Queen of England, but there was a natural ability about her that struck you every time you saw her speaking to people," Helen Mann, former Vice Consul for the British Consulate, said. "A genuine humility and a genuine interest in the people she was talking to."

Two years after the queen's trip to Houston, Mann got the chance to meet the queen for the 2nd time.

"I could hear her aide standing next to her saying, 'Ma'am, this is our Vice Consul from Houston, Texas.' She looked up, she looked at me and said, 'Oh, I remember,'" Mann recalled while laughing.

"I said something about hoping she had enjoyed her visit to Texas. She said, 'Absolutely, I can't think why we didn't come there before.'"


ABC13 Anchor Melanie Lawson spoke with former reporter with the dearly departed Houston Post, and later with the Chronicle. He not only met the Queen and Prince Phillip, but he later met Prince Charles and Princess Diana in Washington, DC.