New Hanover County man reflects on meeting Queen Elizabeth II, receiving honorary title

New Hanover County man reflects on meeting Queen Elizabeth II, receiving honorary title
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 10:31 PM EDT
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CASTLE HAYNE, N.C. (WECT) - Not many of us can remember a five-minute conversation we had nearly 40 years ago, but Terrol Rose will never forget who he spoke with while working in the United Kingdom in the 1980s.

“On a couple of occasions I had the opportunity to meet the Queen,” said Rose. “One was a civic luncheon in Liverpool [at] Liverpool Town Hall, in which I had a brief conversation with her, five minutes.”

Rose says he worked several trade missions in which he would host companies interested in investing in the country. In 1987, he learned Queen Elizabeth II would recognize him for that work with one of her highest honors.

“The Department of Trade and Industry put me forward — my name forward — to be on the Queen’s honor list, and then I found out very, very much by surprise that I got a notice from Buckingham Palace that I’ve been awarded the Honorary Officer of the British Empire,” he said.

Rose now lives in Castle Hayne and has lived in the Cape Fear region for nearly 25 years. While he seldom gets to wear his Honorary OBE pin, he is surrounded by his memories of meeting Elizabeth II.

“You only wear it with the morning suit and you only wear it in an official capacity if you were in the grace of the Queen or some other function like going to a royal event.”

The letter signed by Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, are a reminder that Rose will always have a close connection with that chapter of his life.

“It means very much more to me now that the time has passed, and I’ve seen the monarch change,” said Rose. “I will see King Charles III and I will always be in touch with the British culture.”

The coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s passing has kept Rose glued to his TV, reflecting on the impact she had on his life.

“Very independent, very non-committal, non-political, and just it really struck me,” he said.”

Rose says he knows Americans rarely receive such an honor from the British monarchy. He has tried to put together a list to stay connected with others who have had similar experiences with the late Queen Elizabeth II.