Royal Remembrances

Just a reminder—In conjunction with the University Archives’ current exhibit in McKeldin Library, “Royal Remembrances: Celebrating Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” the Archives will be hosting a special event, “Memories of the Queen’s Game,” on October 3 from 1 to 3:30 PM in the Special Events Room in McKeldin.   The event is open to the entire campus community and will feature recollections from President Elkins’ daughters Carole and Margaret, who sat in the royal box in Byrd Stadium, and two members of the 1957 Terrapin football team, LeRoy Dietrich and Gene Verardi, who played in front of the Queen.  The event begins with a light lunch/tea at 1 PM and concludes with a showing of the hour-long, 2007 documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day,” created by UMD alumnus Mike Springirth to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this landmark game.We hope you will be able to join the UMD Archives staff for this very special afternoon.

To whet your appetite, here are a few details about the big day!

Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Elkins at football game
Queen Elizabeth II with Dr. Elkins at a UMD football game.


On October 19, 1957, just four years after her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II visited the University of Maryland. The Queen was on a tour of Canada and the United States, and wanted to see a “typical American sport.” Our campus was selected as a spot to watch an American college football game, and so Queen Elizabeth and her consort Prince Phillip made their way to Byrd Stadium.

Program for the Queen's Game
Queen’s Game program cover.

The 1958 Terrapin yearbook staff wrote about the day:

A ‘Royal’ atmosphere produced a royal game today as the spirited Terps struck for three second half touchdowns to defeat Jim Tatum and the favored North Carolina Tar Heels 21-7. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, were among the 45,000 fans who packed Byrd Stadium to see the Terps score an upset.”

See photographs and more memories here, here, and here in the yearbook.

Queen Elizabeth's ticket
Ticket stub from the Queen’s Game.

Thanks to our football digitization project, you can watch the football game, which includes footage of the Queen and Prince Phillip. Watch the first half and the second half.

See a Universal Newsreel report about the event here.

If you miss the October 3 event, you can check out Mike Springirth’s full documentary, “Maryland’s Queen for a Day”, from the library here.

The “Royal Remembrances” exhibit will be on display on the first and second floors of McKeldin Library through the end of the fall 2014 semester.

Queen Elizabeth with the Terps football captains
Gene Alderton (#51) and Jack Healy (#23), co-captains of the University of Maryland football team, standing with Queen Elizabeth and Governor Theodore McKeldin, October 19, 1957. The Tar Heel captains are to the left in white.



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