Queen ends four-day vacation in Wyoming


BIG HORN, Wyo. -- Queen Elizabeth II Monday said she had a 'magnificent' vaction in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, and expressed appreciation that her visit was relatively private.

The queen left the Sheridan airport at midday Monday and was scheduled to arrive in London early Tuesday.


Because the queen's plane could not carry a full load of fuel due to the short Sheridan runway, the plane will stop at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., to refuel. The queen also will be given a short tour of the base by Gen. Bennie Davis, commander of the Strategic Air Command.

She spent four days as the guest of Lady Porchester, sister of Wyoming Sen. Malcolm Wallop and wife of Lord Porchester, the queen's racing manager. She stayed at the Wallop family ranch near the small town of Big Horn.

The queen's vacation was a rare private holiday and her activities were very low-key during the entire weekend.

Her visit was highlighted by a shopping trip in downtown Sheridan, a visit to the Bradford Brinton Museum of Western and Indian art in Big Horn, and a private dinner party she hosted at a local supper club.


The queen's news secretary, Michael Shea, said the queen enjoyed several picnics on the ranch and took several long walks, including one in a light snowstorm.

'Her majesty has had a magnificent few days here and wishes she could stay longer,' Shea said. 'The queen is also most grateful that she has been afforded a genuinely private visit. I know her majesty would love to come back.'

He said she was impressed by the warmth of the crowds that greeted her arrival Friday and saw her off Monday, and some 1,000 local residents who gathered in downtown Sheridan Saturday to catch a glimpse of the queen as she shopped.

'It's a dream come true,' said Sheridan resident and former British subject Joan Jensen.

Jensen was one of several English women the queen made a point of greeting during her shopping trip.

'I hope she's relaxed. She's got a lot on her shoulders,' said Doris Garriffa, another woman who moved from England to Sheridan as the wife of an American serviceman following World War II.

While in Wyoming, the queen received a telephone call from President Reagan to discuss the IRA bombing of a Brighton, England, hotel in which Conservative Party members, including Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, were staying while attending a party conference. Thatcher escaped injury, but four people, including a member of Parliment, were killed.


Shea said the president expressed deep regret about the terrorist attack, and the queen then telephoned Thatcher to report her discussion with the president.

Despite heightened security following the bombing, Shea complimented the U.S. Secret Service for its 'absolutely excellent and discreet' security measures.

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