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The Queen Conch

Posted Jun 1, 2012 Posted by One Comment

As Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, we’re remembering her visit to the Keys more than 20 years ago, where she met our own version of royalty.

On May 18, 1991 Queen Elizabeth II of England visited Fort Jefferson National Park at the Dry Tortugas where she was welcomed by Monroe County Mayor and Queen Conch Wilhelmina Harvey who gave her a Florida Keys Conch Shell.

The late great Wilhelmina Harvey enjoyed telling the rest of the story about her meeting with the Queen. The Conch Shell is the proud symbol of the English Loyalist that settled the Bahamas after the Revolutionary War and later moved to Key West. The second part of the legend of the Conch Shell is that if taken into a home bad luck will fall on that family. Of course no one told the Queen or her staff this part of the legend so when they returned to England the Conch Shell was taken to Windsor Castle with the rest of the gifts she received on her trip to America. Wilhelmina said her fellow Conchs blamed her for what happen in England after the Queen returned, her house Windsor Castle was badly damaged by fire in November 1992 and her two sons Charles and Andrew were divorced all from the curse of a Florida Keys Conch Shell.

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One Comment »

  • Carol Ann said:

    The curse of the Conch shell? Good grief, what will they think of next? Conch shells are very pretty. My friend had one with a mouthpiece that was quite loud when blown properly.

    Carol Ann
    My Blog: The Software Doc