Home » City Guide »

When Queen Elizabeth II Visited Bay Area in 1983

SF looks back on Her Majesty’s one and only visit to the Bay in 1983
By - posted 9/8/2022 No Comment

San Francisco looks back to honor Queen Elizabeth II who passed away on September 8, 2022 at the age of 96.

Thanks to ABC7 for sharing a look back at Her Majesty’s one and only visit to San Francisco nearly 40 years ago. Back in 1983, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip made a rare royal visit to the United States for a mini tour of the west coast.

The Queen, with First Lady Nancy Reagan at her side, arrived at SFO Airport and was greeted by San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein. While in San Francisco, she stayed at the St. Francis hotel in Union Square, and visited Davies Symphony Hall. She was given a bronze plaque and a working key to Mission Dolores. San Francisco’s favorite singer, Tony Bennett, serenaded the queen with his classic “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” There was even an appearance by Beach Blanket Babylon. San Francisco funnyman Robin Williams was also in attendance for the royal appearance.

The queen’s Bay Area tour also included stops at Stanford University and Hewlett Packard, followed by a private dinner at de Young Museum with President Reagan and the first lady, along with local icons including Steve Jobs, George Lucas, Willie Mays, and Joe Montana. If you want to follow in the royal footsteps, she also had drinks at Trader Vic’s.

The royal family left The City for a stop in Sacramento and Yosemite. Locals got a rare chance to see the queen during what was dubbed as “Queen’s Day” as they waved goodbye to her as she boarded the Britannia, with a spectacular fireworks display over the Bay.

For a full look at the Queen’s 3-day tour, check out ABC7’s video montage of her trip below.