ZAGREB, 9 Feb (Hina) – On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s rule, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts is marking the 50th anniversary of her visit to Zagreb on 20 October 1972, when she said that as a maritime nation, Great Britain had for centuries had strong ties with Croatia and its coast.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, HAZU recalled that Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, and their daughter, Princess Anne, visited Zagreb during her five-day official visit to then Yugoslavia, when she also visited Dubrovnik, Đakovo, Pula and the Brijuni archipelago.
She arrived by train from Đakovo at Zagreb’s Central Station where a welcome ceremony was held during which the British, Yugoslav and Croatian anthems were played.
Queen Elizabeth II was then taken in an open-top car to the city centre, where she took a walk and talked to some of the citizens who gathered to see her and who gave her a warm welcome, after which she attended a formal dinner organised at the government building in her honour by her host Jakov Blažević, Parliament Speaker of the then Socialist Republic of Croatia, at the time the highest political official in Croatia.
After the dinner, Queen Elizabeth II visited the HAZU building near Zagreb’s Zrinjevac park.
HAZU draws attention to the text of Queen Elizabeth’s toast, carried by newspapers at the time, in which she expressed delight at visiting the ancient beautiful city of Zagreb, the centre of Croatia’s rich history and culture, and noted that she and her family had also visited Dubrovnik, seeing some of the amazing coastal landscape, as well as Đakovo.
She said that Zagreb’s impressive development over the previous 25 years reflected an energetic determination of all its citizens to build a happy and progressive nation.
As a maritime nation, Britain has for centuries had closer ties to Croatia and its long coast than with any other part of Yugoslavia. Today new ties are being established and more and more Britons arrive to enjoy the hospitality of your resorts, she said at the time.
The Queen then expressed hope that the British would in return make an equally useful contribution to Croatia’s economy, stressing that she and her family were very much impressed by everything they had seen, especially the warm welcome they were given, and wished success and the best of luck to all Croatians.