For many individuals who were lucky to meet Queen Elizabeth II, it was an intimidating experience. Meeting a royal family member comes with different expectations and procedures than meeting other celebrities. Dolly Parton had the opportunity to meet the queen and said she was “scared to death” before doing so.
Dolly Parton met the queen after performing at the Silver Jubilee
In 1977, the U.K. held the Silver Jubilee to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. Dolly Parton performed for the Royal Variety Show in Glasgow, Scotland, alongside the Jackson 5, English comedian Frankie Howerd, and Scottish singer Sydney Devine.
Parton grew up in a small cabin in Tennessee, a completely different life than the luxurious and wealthy life of the queen and the royal family. In an interview with Insider, the “9 to 5” singer said she was always “fascinated” with the royal family but was pleasantly surprised by how friendly Queen Elizabeth was.
“I remember as a child being fascinated with the kings and queens and all their flamboyant clothes, people living in another world with riches and crowns and jewelry and all that,” Parton shared. “But when I actually got to meet her, she was very sweet.”
Parton was ‘scared to death’ to meet the queen
While Dolly Parton had a pleasant meeting with the queen, the country legend said she was nervous beforehand. Her fear arose because she knew about the procedures to follow when meeting her and was worried she would mess it up. However, she realized the queen didn’t care much about that and was a “warm” and “giving person.”
“Even though you have to do the protocol, you have to bow and all that, I could tell that she didn’t care about that. That’s just something she had to do. And if somebody made a mistake, it was OK. I was scared to death that I was not going to know how to curtsy, that I wasn’t going to bend right, but she was just very warm, very sweet, and I could tell she was a very giving person. And just meeting the Queen of England, just to meet a queen, it was amazing.”
Parton paid tribute to her majesty after her death
The late Queen Elizabeth died on Sept. 8, 2022, at 96. Many people worldwide mourned the loss of the queen, including Dolly Parton, who shared a heartfelt message on Twitter.
“I had the honor of meeting and performing for Queen Elizabeth II on my trip to London in 1977,” Parton wrote. “She carried herself with grace and strength her entire life. May she Rest In Peace. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.”
Earlier in 2022, the country singer also shared a message in a televised event to the queen for her Platinum Jubilee, which celebrated the 70th anniversary of her ascension to the throne.
“I just wanted to say thank you for being wonderful, you are more than pearls and you are more than platinum,” she said. “You have been a shining diamond in this world for so long and everybody loves you. And I will always love you too.”