Miami man recalls meeting Queen Elizabeth II as teen student in 1991

Queen Elizabeth II made a royal visit to Miami more than 30 years ago.

One of her stops was Booker T. Washington Middle School in Overtown.

“Just meeting the Queen, that carries a lot of weight,” said Charles Anderson, a South Florida native. “That lady was so humble, so sweet.”

Back then, Anderson was just an 8th grader who just happened to be on the school’s band.

But even at just 14 years old, he knew it was a big deal when he was tapped to perform for the queen during her special visit.

“She’s sitting in a big throne right there, we played the royal anthem…oh my God,” Anderson recalled.

The memory of that motorcade driving away and his encounter with the queen never faded and over the years, as Anderson carried a special admiration for Queen Elizabeth II, even until learning of her death.

“It’s sad that she passed away, but to live that long, that’s a blessing,” he said.

The queen left Overtown to tour the historical Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, where dignitaries and even some children met the queen and showered her with gifts.

“She shook hands with so many kids and to this day, that’s an experience I will never forget,” said Anderson.

The day ended with a dinner party aboard her royal yacht off Biscayne Bay, where she hosted local leaders and even former presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

WATCH: WPLG coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1991 visit to Miami

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