Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip prayed in a...


YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip prayed in a chapel shaded by giant sequoias Sunday where the minister paid tribute to three secret service agents killed in a car crash the previous day.

The Rev. John Davis told reporters after the service that he was told by representatives of the queen that such a tribute to the men 'would not only be received well, but deeply appreciated.'


Davis said he offered a prayer praising the agents killed Saturday when a Mariposa County sheriff's patrol car swerved across a center lane, sideswiped two cars carrying agents and collided head-on with another on a two-way road.

The queen and duke both knelt in prayer in Yosemite Chapel before the interdenominational service began, the reverend said.

Sunshine and blue skies greeted the royal party of 38 that went to the small wooden chapel near a rolling meadow by motorcade from the Ahwahnee Hotel a mile away. Forty invited members of the community were bused to the morning services.


The queen, wearing a turquoise-colored dress, a hat and diamond broach, was given a handwoven basket by a Piaute Indian outside the chapel. She was also given an autographed picture of Yosemite Valley taken by famed photographer Ansel Adams that was taken from Inspiration Point, a spot the queen visited on her arrival Saturday. The photo was given her by Adams' son, Michael.

Rain began falling later Sunday, forcing cancellation of part of the queen's itinerary.

A private tour of Mariposa Grove, home of Grizzly Giant, the biggest Sequoia tree in the park -- 206 feet tall with a 30-foot trunk - had to be canceled because of the wet weather as was a trip to the Badger Pass ski resort.

The queen did manage to squeeze in a trip to the park's Mirror Lake, officials said. Sunday was a day off from formal activities.

Temperatures were in the mid-50s for the finish of the Queen's 10-day California tour. She travels to Seattle and British Columbia on Monday in the final leg of a month-long goodwill tour.

California Highway Patrol officers were investigating the accident that killed the three agents but didn't immediately release details. A report was expected Monday.


The crash did not involve the royal motorcade, which passed nearby about 30 minutes later and could see the wreckage. A spokesman for the queen said she was 'greatly saddened and shocked' by the tragedy.

The bodies were to be returned by the Secret Service to the agents' hometowns for burial. They were George P. Labarge, 41, of Dayton, Ohio; Douglas W. Robinson, 38, of Newark, N.J.; and Donald A. Bejcek, 29, of Chicago.

The royal couple went to Yosemite after giving a party Friday night on their yacht Britannia celebrating the 31st wedding anniversary of President and Nancy Reagan. The celebration lasted into the small hours of Saturday morning.

The Reagans said goodbye to the royal couple at San Francisco International Airport Saturday morning after playing host to Elizabeth and Philip at affairs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the president's ranch for the past week.

The Britannia sailed Saturday for Seattle, where it will await the royal couple's arrival Monday.

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