According to Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, Queen Elizabeth II met every single United States president from Harry Truman all the way to Joe Biden during her 70 years serving as the British monarch. However, there’s one individual in that list that she favored above all others, and that was President Ronald Reagan, with whom she had a very special friendship. The relationship developed over their shared love of the outdoors and horseback riding.
“Reagan once said that one of the perks of being in office was the morning rides with Queen Elizabeth,” Shirley stated during an interview on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.” “Part of the reason they bonded was that they loved the outdoors and because of their love of horses, so they became fast friends after that.”
The queen passed away on Thursday at the age of 96 surrounded by her family. She first visited Reagan at his ranch located in California back in 1983. During the trip, the pair were photographed riding horses together. Shirley then said, “they became fast friends after that.”
“She always wrote her letters to Reagan starting with ‘Mr. President,’ but she would sign off and say ‘your dear friend, Elizabeth,’” Shirley said during the interview. “Without a doubt, most people will tell you he was her favorite [president].”
Newsmax reports that “Reagan was one of only three presidents to be awarded honorary knighthoods, with two coming from the queen and the other from her father, King George VI. She honored him in 1989 and President George H.W. Bush in 1993. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was knighted in 1943 and 1945 by King George VI.”
Reagan and the queen met up at least four or five times, Shirley revealed during his appearance on the program, saying she remarked it was “important that they get together to show the world the special relationship.”
This just goes to show how special a time the 1980s really were. Those of us who lived during that decade know all about it. We perhaps took for granted that great leadership existed in both America and Britain at the time, not realizing the dark times that would begin to unfurl two decades later. How remarkable that those alive at that time got to witness these two icons and their friendship with one another.
Just think about how amazing it is that two hundred years before, Britain and what were then the American colonies despised one another, shedding blood in the name of independence. Now, we are the closest of allies. The special relationship between these two nations was made possible thanks to the great diplomacy of Queen Elizabeth II.
That’s the kind of role she served, working on all kinds of things behind the scenes that others weren’t even aware of, all in the name of serving the country and acting almost as a second mother to individuals of the nation during some truly turbulent times. There’s no doubt the people of Britain will be mourning this loss for a long, long time. As such, please say a prayer or two for them and for the royal family.