(CNN Spanish) — As the British sovereign who has ruled longer than any other monarch in British history, Elizabeth II has made more than 80 state visits around the world since 1952. The monarch’s destinations also included Latin America. Brazil, Mexico and Chile welcomed Elizabeth II with crowds rarely seen before.
Brazil: the queen’s first visit to Latin America
On November 1, 1968, Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Recife, Brazil, on her first state visit to Latin America after being crowned in 1953, but not the last.
Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Elizabeth II visited Salvador, Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Campinas before arriving in Rio de Janeiro.
In Brasilia, the monarch was received by the then president, Marshal Artur da Costa e Silva, with the rigorous protocol for a state visit.
Days later, the couple did not miss the opportunity to visit the streets of Rio de Janeiro and greet bathers.
And before leaving, Elizabeth II presented Pelé with the victory trophy at the end of a match at the famous Maracanã stadium, when the footballer was on his way to becoming a football legend.
Isabel and Felipe said goodbye assuring that they would not forget the “warm welcome that the people of Brazil gave them,” according to a tribute published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 50th anniversary of that historic visit.
In Chile, people went out to see Isabel II, “the queen of stories”
Chile was Isabel II’s next destination, after an invitation from President Eduardo Frei. There, an unexpected crowd welcomed the young couple.
“Chabelita, the house is yours”, was the headline of the newspaper La Segunda on the day of her arrival. “London: Chile wastes affection,” says another headline in the same newspaper.
The sociologist and photographer Iberia Torres investigated the visit and presented an exhibition to celebrate the event’s 50th anniversary.
“People were fascinated to be able to see the queen of stories live and direct,” says Torres.
“Also, a very cinematic couple. Because she’s cute, young, elegant. And he, stupendous, tall, all the women in love with Prince Philip. So there were different elements that came together so that Chile received her very well and she was very happy”, explains Torres when seeing the headlines and photos of the time.
Ambassador Emeritus Mariano Fontecilla was in charge of organizing the visit, in his role as Chile’s chief of protocol in 1968.
“It was one of the most popular of all the visits that I have received here in Chile. She and the Holy Father (Juan Pablo) who was here at the time are part of that massive plan”, explains Fontecilla.
“I had never seen so much understanding of the people, enthusiasm, affection and popular presence until that moment,” he adds.
When we ask the ambassador emeritus what he remembers most about the monarch. Fontecilla tells us: “Her joviality, very nice, at least in everything I treated her and in everything she was, and, in addition, her youth, we were all much younger.”
Fontecilla also recalls what he calls “a very fast situation” that no advanced group could have predicted. Days before the arrival of the sovereign, the Cousiño palace, where the couple would stay, suffered a fire.
The chief of protocol borrowed furniture and “in days we had to invent a semi-Palace that was the Hotel Carrera, transform it into a small residence for the Queen and the Duke,” says Fontecilla.
Isabel and Felipe also spent a few days in the south of the country on a private trip. The young sovereign enjoyed a country barbecue in the town of Pucón, Iberia Torres tells us.
Mexico: Buckingham Palace officials did not expect anything like this
In 1975, the monarch returned to the region to visit Mexico for the first time. Again, the welcome was more than special.
“Mexicans expected to give the queen a warm welcome. They are used to flocking to welcome visitors. But this? No. Buckingham Palace officials did not expect anything like this”, narrates the journalist from the British channel ITN when describing the images of the reception of Elizabeth II, who greets the crowd from an open truck adorned with the flags of Mexico and Great Britain. Brittany.
The sovereign was the guest of honor of the president of the time, Luis Echeverría, to celebrate the day of the flag in the capital’s zócalo. The mariachis were not lacking during the gala dinner at the National Palace.
The visit to Mexican lands was repeated in 1983.