- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2007

11:07 p.m.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Several hundred people rose early today to position themselves at Jamestown Settlement for a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II, who is visiting the site of the first permanent English settlement in America to commemorate Jamestown’s 400th anniversary.

Rather than being kept at a distance from the replica of the three-sided fortress, the crowd was allowed inside for a good view of the monarch.

“I got lucky. Everyone in the world knows Queen Elizabeth II. She’s come so far and I just wanted to see her,” said Carol Rideout, a retired scientist.

Accompanied by Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, the monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, planned to tour the archaeological site where remains of the original fort have been found.

The queen was later scheduled to visit the College of William and Mary before leaving for Louisville, Ky., where she is to watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. She’s also expected to visit Washington, D.C., and attend a state dinner with President Bush before leaving on Tuesday.

On Thursday, she addressed the Virginia General Assembly and in the evening, the royal couple rode in a horse-drawn carriage through Colonial Williamsburg.

In Richmond, she praised the cultural changes that have occurred since her last visit 50 years ago, when the anniversary was an all-white affair in a state with a government in open defiance of a 1954 Supreme Court order to desegregate public schools.

She also mentioned the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech, where a gunman killed 32 people and then himself.

“My heart goes out to the students, friends and families of those killed and to the many others who have been affected,” the queen said. “On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, I extend my deepest sympathies at this time of such grief and sorrow.”

Afterward, she met briefly with students and faculty from Virginia Tech, including three who were wounded, and with 100-year-old Oliver W. Hill, a civil rights attorney whose litigation helped bring about that 1954 desegregation decision.

Then the queen was off to Virginia’s restored 18th-century capital. She arrived in Colonial Williamsburg and waved a gloved hand at the several thousand people who lined Duke of Gloucester Street despite a drizzle to watch the carriage take her past homes, stores and taverns to her hotel.

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