- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2007

WILLIAMSBURG — Queen Elizabeth II returned to Jamestown yesterday for the first time in 50 years as part of her eight-day visit commemorating the 400th anniversary of the nation’s first permanent English settlement. At a lunch at the reconstructed Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, the queen praised the many discoveries and advancements made since her last visit in 1957. “Before I arrived in America this time, I had heard much about the changes and new discoveries that I would find, both in Jamestown and Williamsburg,” she said. “But descriptions cannot prepare you for the reality.” She noted that, in addition to its historic significance, Jamestown marks the beginning of a lasting relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. “I said at the Capitol in Richmond yesterday that the Jamestown landing is not just a historical fact, but a symbol — a symbol of the convergence of civilizations, of the spread of the rule of law, of the growth of representative democracy, and also the symbol of friendship, the deep and enduring friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” she said. Earlier yesterday, throngs of people crowded in cordoned-off areas amid tight security to see the queen at Jamestown Settlement, where she toured three replicas of the settlers’ three-sided fort. Hundreds of people also greeted the queen at Historic Jamestowne, where she saw the remains of the actual James Fort, which were discovered in 1996. She was shown trays containing excavated chess pieces, iron knives, copper baubles and crab claws settlers had eaten. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied his wife to a ceremony at the fort’s church, which was built in 1907 near the original church frame dating to 1617. The queen presented to the people of Virginia an elaborately handmade wooden chair carved of American cherry and Scottish elm. “Would you like to try it out?” she asked Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine. Beaming, Mr. Kaine stood and exclaimed, “I can actually sit on it,” before sitting in the high-backed chair, to the crowd’s laughter. Several people joined the queen and Prince Philip for the outdoor lunch of rockfish and lemon tart under a white tent. Seated at the queen’s table were Mr. Kaine, Virginia first lady Ann Holton, Williamsburg Mayor Jeannie Zeidler, Vice President Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation President Colin Campbell and his wife, Nancy. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was spotted among the various invited guests, including Colonial Williamsburg Foundation trustees and local public officials, who dined beneath elaborate chandeliers. “The last two days will remain very, very special in the memories of all who were here, forever and for generations to come,” Mr. Kaine said. “We are so very proud to be showing off Virginia for her majesty.” After the lunch, the queen met with students and alumni at the College of William & Mary, which awarded her honorary membership to the class of 2007. The 81-year-old queen accepted the distinction with a polite smile and regal wave from a balcony of the Sir Christopher Wren Building overlooking a courtyard packed with hundreds of spectators. College President Gene R. Nichol said faculty, students and alumni were honored by her visit. “We welcome you, your majesty, to a college that was born and chartered in Great Britain but nurtured in the colony and then in this commonwealth, whose progress and endeavor — and even its name — bears a mark of your predecessors and our common heritage,” Mr. Nichol said in his welcoming speech. Among those seated around the podium were Mrs. O’Connor, chancellor of the college; Mr. Kaine; college Rector Michael Powell and 2007 class President Jessica Vance. Audience members included Supreme Court Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Anthony M. Kennedy. In the Wren Building’s Great Hall, the queen briefly met with alumni and students from William & Mary and other Virginia schools. Alumnus Evan Young, a former Marshall Scholar who studied British constitutional history, told the queen that he wrote his senior thesis about the royal veto, last used by Queen Anne. “She indicated she knew just what I was talking about,” said Mr. Young, who works for the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in the District. “Her eyes — there was a smile.” The queen is scheduled to attend the Kentucky Derby today and end her eight-day American visit in the District and Maryland on Tuesday.

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