When a queen visited Pomona

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A request to local librarians for information on a visit to Ontario and environs by the royal family of Thailand in 1960 turned up a different but related piece of information.

In 1962, the queen of Afghanistan visited Pomona. Why, we even have photographic evidence. (She’s the woman in the sunglasses, no doubt worn for protection against the harsh Pomona sun.)

According to Kimberley Erickson of the Cal Poly Pomona University Library’s special collections department: “Here is a photo taken Sept. 15, 1962, during the Queen of Afghanistan’s visit to Cal Poly Pomona. The Queen, Her Majesty Homaira of Afghanistan, is standing next to the Arabian stallion, Poly Royal. Immediately to her left are campus president Charles McPhee and Mrs. McPhee.”

The horse was named Poly Royal? The queen must have felt right at home among fellow royalty.

So what was with all the Asian monarchs — Afghanistan, Thailand — traipsing around out here in the Kennedy years? That I can’t answer.

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  • Bob House

    Odd, and sad, that a Cal Poly employee would misstate Julian McPhee’s name. There would be no Cal Poly — either Pomona or San Luis Obispo — without this visionary founder. Also sad to see the old Arabian horse stables which were converted to offices after this photo. There were featured as the royal stables in the Richard Burton movie, The Rains of Rancipur.

  • Warren

    I remember the day of the visit. My parents took my brother and I and some friends to the Arabian Horse Show at Cal Poly that day. Two military helicopters landed out of sight and the next thing was the queen walking behind the bleachers and shaking hands and saying hello. When we got home the phone call came from the parents of our friends – did it really happen or was it a made up story.