Roman for five times
On September 8, 2022, the most famous queen of the world has left us. Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in the Scotting Highlands. During her 70-year reign, the longest in British history, she was welcomed to the eternal city five times: in 1951,1961, 1981 and then again in 2000 and 2014.
Retracing the queen’s steps takes us first of all to the Quirinale, where she met with president Luigi Einaudi in 1951, Carlo Azelio Ciampi fifty years later and President Napolitano in 2014, during her last visit to Rome. Her other “political” encounters were with Rome’s mayor, Luigi Petroselli accompanied by the defence minister, Giulio Andreotti, at Campidoglio and Musei Capitolini in 1961.
The queen also made the acquaintance of three popes that this city has had, Pope John XXIII (1961), Pope John Paul II (1981 and 2000) and Pope Francis (2014).
Of course, she also visited the Colosseum, the symbol of the city par excellence and could not miss Rome’s opera house, where she watched Verdi’s Falstaff, also in 1961.
As a proper British monarch, she attended a horse race on the Appian way (1951) and enjoyed a horse show in Piazza di Siena (1961). Her devotion to her motherland also brought her to pay homage to the Commonwealth troops killed in Italy at the War Cemetery in Testaccio in 1961.
On her last visit, Queen Elizabeth II gifted the current pontiff with a basket of food, including a bottle of Scottish whiskey produced on her much-loved Balmoral estate, where on Thursday she peacefully took off from this life, and left an indelible and delicate trace.