LOS ANGELES -- Queen Elizabeth II today felt the thrill of landing a space shuttle and publicly thanked the American people for supporting Britain in the Falklands War as a modern display of the old Anglo-American alliance of common principles.
'The support of your goverment and of the American people touched us deeply and demonstrated to the world that our close relationship is based on our shared commitment to the same values,' the queen said in the text of a speech prepared for delivery at the City Hall.
The weather has not cooperated with the royal visit, with periodic rain showers again dogging the queen's schedule.
The queen, on the third day of a 10-day tour of the U.S. West Coast, praised Los Angeles as a melting pot, comparing the city to the ethnic diversity of the British Commonwealth.
In the Commonwealth, she said, the principle of self-determination allowed 46 nations to become independent.
'As a nation, we in Britain were called upon last year to defend that same principle of self determination in the Falkland Islands,' she said, adding her thanks for American support.
The queen and Prince Philip headed for the City Hall reception after touring the Rockwell International plant where parts of the Space Shuttle are built.
After peering into the command module of an Apollo 14, the space ship named 'Kitty Hawk' that astronaut Alan B. Shepherd Jr. flew on a 10-day mission in 1971, the royal couple entered a flight simulator.
The simulator duplicates a shuttle cockpit. Outside the window, screens duplicate the view a pilot would get.
The queen sat in the pilot's seat with the prince behind her while an automatic pilot brought the spacecraft down in a simulated dive from 25,000 feet into the sudden flare-out of a landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Then the queen moved back and the prince, a pilot, was allowed to take the control stick and 'land' the shuttle himself.
The royal couple headed into the third day of their western tour following a glittering Hollywood party Sunday night, where first lady Nancy Reagan introduced them to a galaxy of movie stars and other celebrities.
Amid the elegant setting of a soundstage transformed into a lush California garden, Britain's monarch emerged from her limousine Sunday night during a rain storm and shook the hand of First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Mrs. Reagan escorted the queen, wearing a white gown with an orange floral bodice, a diamond necklace and earrings, down a red carpet to the entrance of the soundstage.
The somewhat casual dinner, men in business suits and women in long, but not formal dresses, was intended to fulfill the queen's desire to see something of Hollywood.
Oscar-winning set designer Walter Scott transformed the soundstage, where television viewers saw a decade of 'M-A-S-H' and whose last episode airs tonight, from an ersatz Korea khaki-colored scheme into a lush California gardenspot.
It was also the stage used for the movies 'Stowaway' with Shirley Temple, 'The Razor's Edge' with Tyrone Power and 'The Seven-Year Itch' with Marilyn Monroe.
Mrs. Reagan, wearing a mulberry and gold chiffon dress, was sitting in for the president, who was in Washington hosting a dinner for the nation's governors.
'She told me she's a little nervous,' said Sheila Tate, Mrs. Reagan's secretary.
A steady stream of limousines carrying a who's who of entertainment, corporate and political leaders -- an estimated 500 guests in all -- arrived in a light rain for the regal affair inside the 20th Century-Fox studio soundstage.
The queen's motorcade was greeted by about 300 people, some 200 were supporters straining for a glimpse of the queen while the others were mostly pro-Irish demonstrators. There were no problems.
Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Irene Dunne, June Allyson and Zsa Zsa Gabor led the roster of celebrity royalty.
George Burns, who starred as the Almighty in two motion pictures and delivered a 10-minute monologue after dinner, walked into the cavernous soundstage and someone shouted, 'God just walked in.' There were laughs.
The evening's entertainment, featuring a 15-minute command performance by Perry Como, included the songs of Dionne Warwick. The queen laughed and smiled throughout Burns' 10-minute monologue.
The Les Brown Orchestra supported a 15-minute medley of songs shared by Como and Frank Sinatra. During dinner, entertainment was provided by the Murray Korda String Orchestra.