HM Queen Elizabeth in Portugal

It has been 636 years since a treaty of alliance between King Richard II of England and King John I of Portugal was ratified at Windsor on 9 May 1386. Not the earliest of the Anglo-Portuguese treaties to survive, the Treaty of Windsor is significant because it effectively cemented and strengthened ties between the two kingdoms and helped transform a fledgling alliance into a more enduring legacy of history to convert The first treaty was signed in 1373, but the later one was considered better as it effectively cemented and strengthened ties between the two kingdoms.

The Treaty of Windsor

This treaty is more relevant in the era of Queen Elizabeth as it was signed in Windsor, a favorite residence of our Queen, naturally of the House of Windsor origin. In fact, Queen Elizabeth was buried in Windsor along with her late husband. Perhaps not strictly relevant, but it provides a link we can appreciate. What cannot be disputed is the contract or not, Portugal and the UK have a longstanding special relationship.

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Just four years after her coronation, Queen Elizabeth made her first official visit to Portugal in February 1957. Portugal ranked fifth in their official visits. Before France, the USA or even the Vatican. She arrived on the Royal Yacht Britannia, moored in the Tagus.

Queen Elizabeth arrives on the Tagus River by boat (LIFE Magazine)

Their visit in 1957 only lasted three days, and Portugal even bought a Rolls Royce for the Queen and Prince Philip to travel during their visit. There was a parade in their honor at the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon and they visited the monasteries of Santa Maria, Alcobaça, Santa Maria da Vitória in Batalha and Nazaré. They stayed at the Queluz National Palace. Portugal did a great honor to the new Queen of the United Kingdom. The famous magazine “LIFE” reported extensively on the first visit. The young Queen Elizabeth attracted much international interest. Nothing has changed.

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Elizabeth and Philip in Portugal, cover of LIFE Magazine, March 1957

Elizabeth was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm by the Portuguese wherever she went. It was reported that students from the University of Coimbra threw coats on the ground for the royal car to drive over in a notable welcoming demonstration.

Second visit to Portugal in 1985

When Queen Elizabeth returned to Portugal, a lot had changed politically. Her first visit was in 1957 when Portugal was a dictatorship. She was greeted by António Oliveira Salazar. When she returned for her second visit, Portugal was a democracy. Your hosts were President António Ramalho Eanes and Prime Minister Mario Soares. She arrived in Portugal aboard a British Airways plane, but her husband Prince Philip arrived aboard the Britannia, the royal yacht. He had been to Madeira for official business with the World Wildlife Fund.

During her time here in 1983 she visited many of Lisbon’s popular attractions such as the Estufa Fria, the National Assembly and the National Theatre. She received the Medal of Honor from the City of Lisbon, traveled across the 25 de Abril Bridge to take the train to Évora, flew to Porto the next day. It was a very full program and Her Majesty was received enthusiastically everywhere.

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Queen visits St Julian’s

A special visit that will long be remembered was her visit to St Julian’s School where she unveiled a plaque named in her honor on a new school building. Andrew Bull was the headmaster at the time. The students requested an extra day of leave, which the Queen naturally granted to much jubilation.

Queen Elizabeth welcoming students to St Julian’s in 1985 (photo courtesy of St Julian’s).

The views expressed on this page are those of the author and not those of The Portugal News.

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