WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — As the world mourns the longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, after her death Thursday, Hobie Cawood reminisced over the exciting time he had the day he met the queen 45 years ago. 

In 1971 41-year-old Hobie Cawood worked as a superintendent at the Independence National Park in Philadelphia, PA. He said July 6, 1976, is the day he met the queen and personally gave her a tour of the historic buildings around Independence Square and symbols of history like the liberty bell.

“It was terrific, yeah, I was nervous to begin with, but she was such a gracious lady and so easy to talk to just as easy as you and I sitting here today. She was that comfortable to be with and she made the job easy,” said Cawood. 

Cawood said he guided Queen Elizabeth, her sister Princess Margaret, Prince Phillip and a few other people she had with her along with security. 

FOX8 sat down with 87-year-old Cawood Thursday night after learning about the queen’s death, he spoke about the conversations they shared that day as they toured the city.  

Cawood showed FOX8’s Daryl Matthews, pictures of the two of them during the tour, laughing, site seeing while he spoke in detail of the short time they shared. 

“I’ll never forget that day, the details of that day, and here I am. It’s been 45 years and I’m talking to you about it details that I remember very vividly,” said Cawood. 

Cawood said after they finished the tour, Queen Elizabeth invited him on their yacht, “The Britannia”, which he gladly accepted as a thank you for the tour and was gifted a signed picture which he still cherishes. 

“I was invited to come down to have an audience with her, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip after our tour of the day, and they gave me an autograph picture which I still have and cherish,” said Cawood.  

It was 45 years ago Cawood met the queen, but he said it is a lasting memory that he’ll treasure for the rest of his life and an experience he was glad to have had. 

It’s sad, I feel it inside certainly, I only spent a day with her out of the many days of her life, but it was a day I will never forget, and some days happen that I hope she will never forget.  

Cawood said he learned about Queen Elizabeth’s death Thursday and has received calls from family and friends who have sent their condolences to him. 

“I think we lost someone that contributed every day of her life to this world, and it’s hard to replace people like that and so I’m a little sad, but she has lived a long and productive life and I think we should all appreciate what she has done, and the legacy that she’s left the world,” said Cawood.