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Queen saw transformation of National Museum during her reign

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Bermudian artist Graham Foster, left, speaks with the Queen during her final trip to Bermuda in 2009. (Photograph supplied)

Through her 70-year reign, the Queen witnessed first-hand the transformation of the maritime museum in Dockyard into the country’s largest museum.

The director of the National Museum of Bermuda, Elena Strong, said: “I remember her being in awe of how much the museum had transformed over the years.”

On her first visit in 1953, the Royal Naval Dockyard was still a major Royal Navy base, although the Dockyard would close six years later.

The Queen officially opened the museum during her 1975 visit, when Teddy Tucker’s famous cross was set to be the museum’s crowning jewel.

Hours before the visit, however, the cross had been stolen and replaced with a fake. The real cross has still not been recovered.

During her 1994 visit, the Queen briefly stopped at the museum to observe the work that was being done at the now completed Commissioner’s House. During this visit, she was also given a set of commemorative gold coins from the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

History lesson: the Queen walks past a mural depicting Bermuda's history after she officially unveiled the work at the Maritime Museum at Dockyard in November 2009 (File photograph by Ken Goff/Solo Pool/PA Wire)

Her final visit to the museum was in 2009, when she unveiled Graham Foster’s Hall of History mural celebrating 400 years of Bermuda’s history. Mr Foster presented Her Majesty and Prince Philip with a painting.

He said: “Straightaway she had a way of making me feel at ease, almost as if talking to my grandmother. I almost felt as if I already knew her.”

According to Mr Foster, the Queen even broke the ice during their meeting with some humour.

“I told her, ‘I reckon that I left part of my sanity in this room’,” he recalled.

“I was shocked to hear of her passing as I thought she would make 100. I will always remember my encounter with her. An amazing, iconic woman.”

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Published September 10, 2022 at 7:48 am (Updated September 10, 2022 at 7:48 am)

Queen saw transformation of National Museum during her reign

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