SEATTLE – Royal watchers in the Pacific Northwest remember Queen Elizabeth II and her visit to Seattle in 1983.
A Bellevue restaurant owner who was able to meet her on this trip is also remembered by her family, as they shared fond memories of her love for the Royal Family and her quest to meet the Queen when she was in Washington.
Alan Silverman’s daughter spoke to FOX 13 about her late father’s legacy as an event planner and restaurateur and his fondness for the British.
“He was in love with the British and especially the royal family,” said Jody May, daughter of Silverman, a retired festival producer.
May says her late father was the owner of Barnaby’s Prime Rib, a British-themed restaurant and pub in Bellevue. She called him a true historian who loved all things English, including Charles Dickens novels and the royal family.
“He liked the protocol. He liked the pomp and the circumstance,” May said.
She showed FOX 13 a letter her father wrote in June 1981, inviting then-Prince Charles to the restaurant in Bellevue for a bridal shower to celebrate his marriage to Lady Diana.
“If he was here he would tell you he’s a cheeky American, and he’s going to send a letter and invite Prince Charles to his event to celebrate their wedding and see if he gets any feedback from the royal family,” said May.
Much to his delight, Buckingham Palace responded to politely decline, saying Charles had already made “his plans for this time” and thanking Silverman for the “thoughtful suggestion”.
“Lo and behold, he was tickled pink because he got a letter from Buckingham Palace, obviously declining his offer to attend, but he was absolutely delighted to have that back,” May said.
She says her father even sent photos of the celebration in England with friends to show those connected to the royal family.
“We kept our promise and showed your photos to the Lord Chamberlain,” May said, reading a card sent back to Silverman by those friends.
About two years later, when Queen Elizabeth visited Seattle, he was overjoyed.
“He dropped everything he was doing and had to go, brought flowers for the Queen and was able to say a few words to her. I think he talked about it for the rest of his life because it was such a spectacular day for him,” May said.
May said the memories involving the Queen and the Royal Family were very powerful for her father. If he were still alive, she says he would share his story with the world and join others in the message “God Save the Queen – May she Rest In Peace”.
“If he were alive today, I know for sure he would have bought a ticket this morning and would be on his way to England to offer his condolences to Her Majesty,” May said. “I just know he would.”