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When the late Queen Elizabeth II went to an Orioles game

The late Queen Elizabeth II saw her first baseball game at Memorial Stadium in 1991
The late Queen Elizabeth II saw her first baseball game at Memorial Stadium in 1991 02:44

BALTIMORE -- Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and one of the most enduring royal personalities the world has known, died Thursday at the age of 96.  

On May 15, 1991, she came to Baltimore.

WJZ was there when the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland -- that's her full title -- met America's favorite pastime in Baltimore. It was a night to remember. 

"That was such a memorable visit to Baltimore and brought so much excitement to our city and the team," former Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. said in a statement Thursday. "I had the opportunity to meet her briefly and she was extremely friendly and engaging. Baseball provided me with many special experiences and that was certainly one of them."

Thousands turned out at Memorial Stadium as the city rolled out the red carpet to welcome Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, President George HW Bush and first lady Barbara Bush. 

It was Queen Elizabeth's first baseball game and, of course, she received the royal treatment.

Before the game, all four dignitaries made up a receiving line. As the players from both teams made their way through the O's dugout.

Queen Elizabeth II At Memorial Stadium For A Baseball Game
Members of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, including manager Tony La Russa (fore, center left), shake hands with, rear, from second left, US President George HW Bush (1925 - 2018), British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, and US First Lady Barbara Bush - US First Lady (1925 - 2018), in a dugout at Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland, May 15, 1991. During her State Visit, the Queen was there to watch a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics, the latter of whom went on to win the game, 6-3. / Getty Images

And then the crowd got a real treat as the queen stepped out of the dugout and onto the field.

"It was just an experience, I'll probably never be able to see her again that close," one fan in the fans told WJZ at the time. 

"I was just telling my son that this is history taking place, that he doesn't quite understand what a wonderful thing it is that the queen is here," said another fan in the stands, much to his son's chagrin. 

Pitcher Dave Johnson thinks meeting some of the hulking professional athletes might have been memorable for Her Majesty.

"She was more petite than I actually envisioned her to be, and I had the opportunity to be looking down at her," he said. "I'm thinking when a José Canseco or a Sam Horn comes in she's gotta be almost frightened to a certain extent, so I'm sure it was a unique experience for her also."   

The honored guests watched the game from the Orioles owner's box with former President George H.W. bush sitting next to the Queen to explain the finer points of the game.

The royal couple left shortly after the second inning. The Athletics ended up beating the Orioles 6-3. 

Queen Elizabeth II attends a baseball game by MLB on YouTube

With the passing of the Queen, her first son Charles has ascended the throne. Charles, 73, had been the Prince of Wales — the title reserved for future British kings-in-waiting — for longer than anyone else in the history of the United Kingdom's monarchy.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Thursday that the new monarch would be known as King Charles III.

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