Dolly met the Queen in May of 1977, when she was overseas as part of her world tour and performed at the King’s Theatre for the Royal Variety Show as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee celebrations.
To mark Queen Elizabeth’s 25th year as England’s royal ruler, they went all-out celebrating with parties and parades throughout the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, and actually, Dolly didn’t even know she was going to be part of it until she got across the pond.
According to The Tennessean, her team didn’t even tell her she would be performing for the Queen until they were on their way to London, and Dolly says:
“They kept it a surprise from me until I was on the flight over.”
She added that she got butterflies right before she walked out on stage:
“I was a little bit nervous – on the brink of being scared. But when I walked out on stage, I was at ease. The crowd was just great.”
I mean, I think it’s pretty fair to be a little bit scared right before you perform for the Queen of England…
Dolly said she couldn’t have been more ecstatic to get such a cool opportunity, though, because she was always fascinated by fairy tales and princesses as a young girl growing up in the remote mountains of east Tennessee:
“When they told me on the plane I was appearing in front of the queen, I just jumped up and down telling everyone. It’s just one of the biggest thrills of my life.
When I was a little girl I grew up in a world of kings and queens and princes and princesses in fairy tales. Now I was going to meet one.”
I’d say that’s pretty much every girl’s dream… well, it’s mine, at least, but I digress.
Upon Dolly’s departure from England, she told Time magazine:
“I don’t want to leave the country. I want to take the country with me.”
Dolly also recently sent the Queen a very sweet message in honor of her Platinum Jubilee, which marked her 70 years of service to the people of England, back in February of this year: