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The time Queen Elizabeth set foot in Connecticut

Thousands were on hand to watch the royals during their 40-minute visit in 1976.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Queen Elizabeth II never made an official visit to Connecticut but did arrive in New Haven on the royal yacht Britannia before jetting off to Virginia from Tweed-New Haven Airport.

The visit was part of a series of stops when the Queen and Prince Philip came to the United States during the celebration of the Bicentennial in July 1976.

The Queen had attended events in New York City including a dinner hosted on the ship on the evening of Friday, July 9. Following that, the entourage sailed from New York to New Haven.

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Librarian Ed Surato showed FOX61 photos taken by shot by Gene Gorlick, who was a photographer for the New Haven Register at the time.

The photos show the Queen’s arrival in New Haven on the royal yacht Britannia on July 10, 1976.

Surato grew up nearby and said he remembers the day well.

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“A friend and I, we went to the top of the cliffs at Fort Hale Park and we watched the ship come into the harbor,” he said. “Big news, the bicentennial celebration was big for the entire summer and to think that the queen would come to New Haven was pretty incredible.”

Credit: Gene Gorlick
Queen Elizabeth II and former governor of Connecticut Ella Grasso meet as the Queen and Prince Philip stopped in New Haven July 10, 1976.

Documents in the Gerald R. Ford presidential library show the Queen's schedule for the visit. 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and their party will sail for New Haven, Connecticut on HMY Britannia. 

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and their party will arrive at City Dock, New Haven, Connecticut and proceed to Tweed-New Haven Airport, New Haven, Connecticut. 

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and their party will arrive at Tweed-New Haven Airport. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and their party will depart from Tweed-New Haven Airport, New Haven, Connecticut for Charlottesville, Virginia via U.S. Presidential Aircraft.

The New York Times said of the visit: 

Fifty thousand people lined the docks, streets and airport here this morning to watch Queen Elizabeth pay a 40‐minute visit.

Arriving in New Haven harbor aboard the Britannia the Queen and Prince Philip were greeted by Gov. Ella Grasso and Mayor Frank Logue of New Haven.

The Governor presented the royal couple with a $73 pewter Bicentennial plate showing Connecticut Revolutionary figure and a $1.500 pewter chess set depicting Revolutionary symbols of the colonies on one side and of Britain on the opposing side.

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 The photographs at the Whitney Library are part of the Bicentennial collection at the museum. Surato said people are welcome to come take a look. Email info@newhavenmuseum.org or call 203.562.4183 ahead to make an appointment.

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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