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Queen Elizabeth II's special connection to the UNC Tar Heels

In 1957, she attended a UNC Football game. She left with a special connection to North Carolina.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — On her first trip to the United States as queen, Elizabeth II couldn't pass up a chance to see an American football game.

On October 19, 1957, she and Prince Philip watched the North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Maryland Terrapins up in College Park.

The whole event was a big show: the crowd came out in their nicest dress with many women even in furs and pearls.

The crowd held up signs to make a Union Jack flag.

The team captain for Maryland even got a new front tooth put in for the Queen after he was knocked out during a play earlier in the season.

In the end, Maryland beat Carolina 21-7. But reports at the time say the queen cheered on both teams.

And she left the game with a special reminder of our state. Then North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges gave the queen a small trophy of Sir Walter Raleigh.

By the way, 65 years later, you can see the chair the queen used that day on display at the University of Maryland.

A reminder of the time the world's longest-sitting monarch enjoyed the same game and even the same team, perhaps, as you.

Credit: University Libraries, UNC-Chapel Hill
Queen Elizabeth II at UNC Game in 1957

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