London (AFP) There is no place like home.
Queen Elizabeth II reminded a group of schoolchildren studying space exploration of the importance of returning to Earth as she did in a video call about the first man to make the flight – Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin.
The king, who invited Gargarine to Buckingham Palace shortly after his historic flight in 1961, was asked what an astronaut looked like, according to the details of the call issued by the palace on Friday.
She responded with a “Russian” smile as her fans laughed. “He didn’t speak English. He was cool, and I think being the first person was especially cool.”
Astronomer Maggie Aderen Pocock, who hosted the session to celebrate British Science Week, said it was terrifying to be the first man in space and not know what would happen.
The Queen replied, “Well, yeah, and if you can come back.” “This is very important.”
On Wednesday, the call came with students from Thomas Jones Elementary School in West London during a difficult week for the Queen, after the royal family was rocked by accusations of racism and insensitivity leveled at them by Prince Harry and Meghan.
But despite the controversy, the Queen continued her work, just as she had for decades. Scientists from the London Science Museum briefed her on NASA’s Mars Perseverance mission and discussed the discovery of meteorite fragments earlier this week in England.
The group gave the Queen a set of persistent Mars rover face masks, which were dispatched from NASA headquarters to Windsor Castle. Professor Caroline Smith has asked the Natural History Museum to give one of the masks to Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, due to his longstanding interest in science and space exploration.
The 99-year-old prince recovers in a London hospital after undergoing a heart operation.