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Queen Elizabeth's ties to North Carolina

Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at the age of 96. She was the longest-serving monarch in British history.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at the age of 96 leaving behind a seven-decade legacy around the world, including in North Carolina. 

Elizabeth II ship

In Manteo, N.C., a 16th-century replica vessel sits in the waters of Roanoke Island Festival Park.

The ship, named after the monarch, is meant to represent one of the English merchant vessels from the 1585 Roanoke voyage. It was created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Roanoke voyages.

Credit: NC Dept. Natural Resources
Queen Elizabeth II ship is in Manteo, NC

Forever England

A small plot of land on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks is the burial site of four British Naval soldiers.

In 1942, The British Royal Navy sent 24 armed trawlers to help the U.S. Navy defend the Ocracoke coastline. On May 11, a German U-558 torpedoed one of those trawlers, the HMT Bedfordshire, killing all 37 members. Only four bodies washed ashore. 

Each year, a ceremony is held to honor those soldiers, and a new flag is sent by the United Kingdom to fly on the small cemetery, recognized as "Forever England."

Tar Heels

In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II attended a UNC-Maryland football game with her husband Prince Philip. 

Maryland won the game 21-7, but according to reports, the queen cheered on both teams. 

Credit: AP Images
Queen Elizabeth II attended the Maryland vs. UNC game in 1957.

Billy Graham

Queen Elizabeth II had deep ties to North Carolina's favorite son - the late Reverend Billy Graham. 

Below is a photo of Graham and his wife Ruth with the Royal family in 1984. The queen is on the far left. She heard one of his sermons on the radio, then invited him to the palace. 

On the Billy Graham website, there's a big section about their friendship over the years. This photo is from one of the other many times they met. 

Graham once said, "I always found her very interested in the bible and its message...after preaching at Windsor one Sunday, I told her I had almost preached on the healing of the crippled man in John chapter five. Her eyes sparkled and she bubbled over with enthusiasm as she could do, on occasion. 'I wish you had!' She exclaimed. That's my favorite story." 

Credit: AP Photo/Press Association/Ron Bell
American Evangelist Dr. Billy Graham, second left, with his wife Ruth and members of the Royal family, the Queen, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother when he preached at Sandringham Parish Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, Jan. 15, 1984. The rector of Sandringham the Rev. Gerry Murphy can be seen right.

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