Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, as part of an online scientific forum, shared with the conference participants her memories of her meeting with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in London almost 60 years ago. This is reported by TASS.
“He was charming. And I think the fact that he was the first astronaut made him especially charming,” said the queen.
Elizabeth II shared her memories in response to a question from the British cosmologist Maggie Aderyn-Pocock, who participated in the conference. The woman admitted that the Soviet cosmonaut played a big role in choosing her profession. “… Yuri Gagarin, the first person to visit space, and it seems to me that you met him, what was he like?” Aderyn-Pocock asked.
“Russian”, – answered Elizabeth II, demonstrating her excellent sense of humor and causing laughter from the participants in the meeting. “He did not speak English,” the queen recalled. She agreed with Aderyn Pocock that it must be scary to become a pioneer in space, not knowing exactly how your journey will end. “Yes, and can you come back. This is very important,” said the queen.
Gagarin’s visit to Great Britain took place in July 1961. As part of the trip, he met with a number of British public and political figures, attended a dinner at Buckingham Palace at the invitation of Elizabeth II, who even took a photo with him as a keepsake.