55 years ago today, the University of Maryland hosted Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, in Byrd Stadium to watch the Terps trounce the Tar Heels 21-7. The royal couple, visiting with President Eisenhower at the White House, expressed an interest in seeing a typical American sport, and fortunately the Terps were in town during their stay.
The day was filled with great pomp and ceremony. Over 43,000 fans filled the stadium, decorated with the flags of the Commonwealth nations, and greeted the Queen with a tremendous round of applause. The governors of Maryland and North Carolina served as her official hosts, and Maryland Governor Theodore R. McKeldin (yes, that McKeldin!) and University President Wilson Elkins tutored the Queen on the finer points of American football throughout the game. The Queen’s Game, as this event has come to be known, was covered by the international press, and by all accounts, Her Majesty enjoyed the game immensely.
The University Archives holds many documents, photographs, and pieces of memorabilia chronicling this landmark day in UMD history. A complete listing of these materials may be found here. You may also watch footage of the game and the hoopla surrounding the Queen: part 1 and part 2. Don’t forget your hat!