Much attention is being given to Queen Elizabeth’s presence – here, there and everywhere – at the London Olympics. And, of course, her appearance at Byrd Stadium in 1956, at a Maryland-North Carolina football game, is well remembered locally.
The latter wasn’t the first football game she attended, though. In 1951, when she was still a princess, she visited Canada and took in a CFL playoff game in Edmonton between the Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Blue Bombers. The home team won 4-1. (Yes, 4-1 – a field goal and two rouges. The field goal, by the way, was kicked by the famed Annis Stukus, who didn’t wear a helmet or any padding.)
Anyway, two years later – little known fact – Darrell Royal became the Edmonton coach (before going on to greater glory with the Texas Longhorns). Royal once told me this story about the Princess/Queen:
“When I went up there to coach they didn’t have an office in the stadium for me. But they’d built a special restroom for [Princess Elizabeth] to use during the game. So we just converted her restroom into my office.”