Queen Elizabeth Remembers George HW Bush With ‘Great Fondness’

Portrait of the forty-first president of the United States George Bush, circa 1989./Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre while visiting West Sussex on November 30, 2017 in Chichester, United Kingdom.
Hulton Archive/Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth has warm memories of the late former U.S. president, George H.W. Bush, who passed away on Friday, November 30, People is reporting. The queen and Bush have had many encounters over the years, most notably when she knighted him in 1993. Bush reportedly was not required to kneel before the queen as he was an American citizen. Not only did they have immense respect for each other, a genealogist in the 1980s actually discovered that the two were 13th cousins.

“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of President George H W Bush last night,” the queen said in a statement on Saturday. “President Bush was a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom. He was also a patriot, serving his country with honour and distinction in Office and during the Second World War. Prince Philip and I remember our days in Texas in 1991 with great fondness. My thoughts and prayers are with President Bush’s family and the American people.”

The 1991 Texas visit she recalls had been a lovely merging of cultures, with the queen and her husband gifting Bush and his wife a horseshoe set and a copy of the book, America is Lost. In return, Bush and his wife gave them a crystal flower bowl decorated with lines by William Shakespeare. A funny exchange happened between the queen and Bush’s son, George W., who was unaware of what his future held. George W. was wearing black cowboy boots that said “God save the Queen” on them. The queen asked George W. if he was the black sheep of the family, to which he replied “I guess so.” The Bush family was reportedly very fond of the royals, and Bush even ended up taking the queen to a Orioles game in Baltimore at one point.

While Bush was 94-years-old when he passed, the queen is still kicking at age 92. She has met many U.S. presidents over the years. In fact, she has met every single president since Harry Truman was in office, aside from Lyndon Johnson. This means, in total, she’s met with Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

All of the living U.S. presidents also released statements regarding Bush’s death, with Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton all sending their condolences to the Bush family.