The Queen devastated as longtime friend dies

Sarah Carty

Queen Elizabeth is said to be in mourning over the death of her longtime friend and famous evangelist preacher Reverend Billy Graham.

Billy Graham met the Queen just two years after she had taken over the throne in the late 1950’s and they instantly hit it off.

In the Netflix show, The Crown, Claire Foy, who plays the Queen was seen in series 2 meeting with the preacher and asking him his thought on forgiveness.

The Queen is said to be devastated over the death of her longtime friend. Photo: Getty Images
Reverend Billy Graham and the royal family have been close for years. Photo: Getty Images

Billy came to London in 1956 on a 12-week ‘crusade’, with the Queen taking particular interest in his preaching.

It’s thought the pair then met privately and he was invited to preach at Windsor church.

Billy refused to go into detail about their meetings in his official autobiography, Just As I Am, however he did comment on his good friend, the Queen.

“Good manners do not permit one to discuss the details of a private visit with Her Majesty, but I can say that I judge her to be a woman of rare modesty and character,” he wrote.

Billy sadly passed away this week at the age of 99. Photo: Getty Images
Here he is depicted in the Netflix show, The Crown. Photo: Netflix

In an extract from his book on his website, Billy also mentioned the regular contact he had with the British royal family.

“No one in Britain has been more cordial toward us than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” he wrote.

“Almost every occasion I have been with her has been in a warm, informal setting, such as a luncheon or dinner, either alone or with a few family members or other close friends.”

Sadly, Billy passed away this week at the age of 99.

He had been battling with cancer for years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1989.

He was also known at the 'President's Preacher'. Here he is with George Bush. Photo: Getty Images
He was firm friends with Bill Clinton. Photo: Getty Images

He lived a colourful life and became known as the ‘President’s Preacher’ due to his close relationships with many of the presidents who took office in the United States.

George Bush released a statement about his ‘personal’ friend, saying he touched the hearts of people from every religion.

“We will miss out goof friend forever,” he said.

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