SEATTLE – Royal observers in the Pacific Northwest remember Queen Elizabeth II and her visit to Seattle in 1983.
One Bellevue restaurant owner who was able to meet her during this trip will also be remembered by his family as they shared fond memories of his love for the Royal Family and his aspiration 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 organizer and restaurateur and his fondness for the British.
“He was infatuated with the Brits and the royal family in particular,” said Jody May, Silverman’s daughter, a retired festival producer.
May says her late father was the owner of Barnaby’s Prime Rib, a British restaurant and pub in Bellevue. She called him a true historian who loved everything English, including the novels of Charles Dickens and the royals.
“He loved the protocol. He loved the pomp and circumstance,” May said.
She showed FOX 13 a letter written by her father in June 1981, inviting then-Prince Charles to the Bellevue restaurant for a marriage party to celebrate his marriage to Lady Diana.
“If he were here he would tell you he’s a cheeky American and he’ll send a letter and invite Prince Charles to his event to celebrate their marriage and see if he gets any feedback from the royal family,” he said Can.
To his delight, Buckingham Palace wrote back to politely decline, saying Charles had already “made his plans for this time” and thanked Silverman for the “thoughtful proposal”.
“Lo and behold, pink was tickling because he received a letter from Buckingham Palace blatantly refusing his offer to attend, but he was just absolutely in love that he got that back,” May said.
She says her father even sent pictures from the celebration back to England with some friends to show those linked to the royal family.
“We kept our promise and showed the Lord Chamberlain your pictures,” May said, reading a card sent back to Silverman by those friends.
About two years later, when Queen Elizabeth visited Seattle, he was smitten.
“He dropped everything he was doing and needed to be there, bringing flowers for the Queen and actually being able to have a few words with 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 of the Queen and the royal family were very strong 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 a fact that 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. “All I know is that he would .”