Queen Elizabeth’s death this week, stirred up a lot of memories among longtime residents of San Diego who remember her visit to America’s Finest City in February of 1983.
And coincidentally, the news of her death coming this particular week, as a tropical storm arrives in San Diego today, also has stirred up memories of the other big news story in San Diego back in the winter of 1983: One of the worst storms to ever hit San Diego just weeks before the Queen’s visit in January of that year.
According to one news report at the time, “Torrents of rain and 15-foot seas kicked up by the fourth Pacific storm in a week destroyed beach houses and piers on the Southern California coast and drove hundreds from their homes.”
In fact, when the Queen’s royal yacht Britannia arrived at Broadway Pier on February 26, 1983, it was a cold, rainy and windy morning during that winter of historic weather in San Diego.
And many will remember how Queen Elizabeth touched San Diego and how San Diego’s acting mayor touched her, literally.
In the Times of San Diego this week, former Union Tribune financial editor Don Bauder — recalled how “San Diego became known as a hick town” when acting Mayor Bill Cleator committed the royal faux pas of touching the queen.” Actually it was a gentlemanly gesture, a “this way your majesty” move, but his right hand brushed against the queen.
A storm of protests erupted at the time during an historic winter when the royalty and the rain made news in our city.