Maryland once welcomed the queen to a football game

Remember those scenes in the 1980s movie, The Naked Gun, where Queen Elizabeth II goes to a major league baseball game, enjoys a unique rendition of the national anthem by Enrico Pallazzo, does the wave, passes a hot dog down the row and narrowly avoids being assassinated by Reggie Jackson?

It might sound crazy but, except for the parts about Reggie Jackson and Enrico Pallazzo, maybe it’s not so unbelievable.

Turn the clock back to Oct. 19, 1957 and Queen Elizabeth —who had been queen of England for only five years — and her husband Prince Philip watched a University of Maryland football game in the same stadium where Ohio State would have played Maryland on Saturday.

The British royals were in the United States for a six-day visit. They’d gone to a state dinner at the White House, spent some time at the National Gallery of Art and had traveled to Jamestown, Va., for a ceremony commemorating the 350th anniversary of its founding by British colonists in 1607.

According to a 2017 Washington Post story, the queen had specifically asked to have the chance to see her first American football game when her trip’s intinerary was being planned.

The queen was on the cover of the game day program. She was given several gifts on the field before the kickoff of the game, which Maryland won 21-7 over North Carolina in front of a sellout crowd. One of the things she received was a gold brooch shaped like a terrapin, which is Maryland’s mascot, that was decorated with rubies and diamonds.

You can go online and watch black and white newsreel film of the queen examining the ceremonial coin used in the pre-game coin flip, taking a seat in the front row and at one point in the game asking the governor of Maryland to explain the action on the field.

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