Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday at age 96, ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history. During her 70-year reign, she met countless world leaders, including more than a dozen Presidents of the United States. Queen Elizabeth II developed a particularly close relationship with President Ronald Reagan, with whom she shared a love for horseback riding.
The pair’s friendship was demonstrated on June 14, 1989, when Queen Elizabeth II granted Reagan an honorary knighthood, which is the highest honor a British Monarch can bestow upon a foreigner, according to The Royal Family Channel.
Video of the moment shows the two world leaders exchanging smiles and a handshake.
“She made him an Honourary Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, an order established in 1725 that recognizes services to Britain,” the channel wrote on YouTube, adding that both Reagan and his wife Nancy had lunch with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip when she announced the reward.
Reagan and Queen Elizabeth II previously connected at Windsor Castle on June 8, 1982. Video of the visit shows the Queen horseback riding with Reagan.
In March 1983, Reagan invited the queen and her husband Prince Philip to the president’s Santa Barbara ranch, Rancho del Cielo. According to a video posted on YouTube by Young America’s Foundation, the visit was plagued with rain, which prevented Reagan and Queen Elizabeth II from enjoying a horseback ride together.
The road up to the ranch was nearly impassible due to the inclement weather, but the queen insisted on making the journey to enjoy the ranch with her friend, President Reagan.
Reagan greeted Queen Elizabeth II when she first arrived in Santa Barbara, California, complete with military band and artillery fire.
That same month, President Reagan spoke at a dinner honoring Queen Elizabeth II, which was held at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco, California.
On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced the queen’s death, writing on its website, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
The queen’s family rushed to be by her side early Thursday after royal doctors expressed concern over her health.
“Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral,” a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace had said earlier Thursday.