Queen Elizabeth II: NASA honored the sovereign by remembering an awkward moment she had with Neil Armstrong


The passing of the Queen Elizabeth II of England gave rise to all kinds of tributes and memories. One of the organizations that paid tribute to the sovereign was the POT, recalling with a photo an emotional moment, but very uncomfortable, to Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

It happened during the world tour of the members of Apollo 11 after their return from the Moon. Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins they were the characters of the moment: after reaching the satellite in 1969, they embarked on a series of protocol trips, meeting several leaders, including the Queen of England.

But before the visit, Commander Armstrong went through a difficult time that would affect royal protocol. What happened?

The painful episode of Neil Armstrong with Queen Elizabeth II of England

The Queen of England with Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969.

To Armstrong he got the flu, a very bad flu, and he couldn’t stop coughing.

In fact, he thought about not attending the reception at Buckingham Palace, because of all the discomfort he was suffering. But his wife, Janet Elizabeth Shearon, told him: “If you don’t go, I will go to the palace,” according to British Heritage Travel. I wanted to see the place.

Finally, the commander attended. And there was the embarrassing moment.

Neil Armstrong coughed in the face of the Queen of England.

Paul Haney, a NASA member who wrote the book That Silent Sea, remembered it. “She (the Queen) knew that he had a cold. (Neil) tried to say something like ‘Thank you, we had a great time’, but instead he coughed in her face. Mortified, he tried to apologize again and hit her in the face with another cough. She raised both hands, as a sign of surrender.”

But Neil Armstrong wasn’t the only one to have an embarrassing moment at the Buckingham Palace reception. Michael Collins also went through one, as Buzz Aldrin recalled on Twitter.

Mike Collins nearly fell down the stairs trying not to turn his back on Queen Elizabeth II. Aldrin wrote in 2016.

The Queen of England congratulated NASA astronauts who went to the Moon

The Queen of England was an enthusiast of space travel, and had previously also met the Soviets Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova, the first man and woman in space, as remembered by People.

After the Apollo 11 trip to the Moon, Isabel II wrote a message, like other world leaders, congratulating NASA and the astronauts.

“On behalf of the British people, I salute the skills and courage that have landed a man on the Moon. May this effort increase the knowledge and well-being of humanity.”

The space agency’s tribute to the late monarch

2007 photo, released by NASA

The agency also posted a most recent photo, of the Queen visiting the Goddard Space Flight Center in 2007. NASA wrote:

“Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died on September 8, 2022 at age 96. Her reign spanned all space flights, predates both Sputnik and Explorer 1.

As NASA joins the planet in marking her passing, we are moved by the curiosity the Queen showed our explorers over the years.”

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