Inside Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Billy Graham

As the monarch of England, it's not surprising that Queen Elizabeth has had quite a few interesting friendships and relationships over the years. Fans of "The Crown" have seen some of those relationships portrayed on the show, and that includes the queen's close friendship with Billy Graham.

If you were putting together a list of people most likely to be friends with Queen Elizabeth, it wouldn't be surprising if you didn't include the name of Billy Graham, an American evangelist most known for his particular version of Southern Baptist ministry. But Graham has had friendships with a number of big names and influential people, including several U.S. presidents. In his autobiography "Just As I Am," Graham reflects on his relationship with the Queen (via Billy Graham).

He recalled, "No one in Britain has been more cordial toward us than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 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." 

How Queen Elizabeth met Billy Graham

Robert Lacey, the historical consultant for "The Crown," was thrilled that the show included an episode titled "Vergangenheit" about the queen and Billy Graham. He explained to Town & Country Magazine that many people didn't know the pair were friends prior to the episode airing. "People don't know how the queen struck up this friendship with an old-time American evangelist. People don't know that almost certainly every night the queen kneels beside her bed and says her prayers because that is what her mother did, we know, and her grandmother before her, and that's how she was brought up."

Lacey went on to explain that the show's depiction of the friendship was quite accurate. While Graham was in the U.K. promoting his "Crusades," the Queen happened to see an address of his on TV. She invited Graham to come preach at Windsor Castle, and the pair had lunch together. Lacey adds, "Whenever he came to England [the Queen] would invite him to preach, and often when she came to America—the Queen would come to America more often than people realize, on private visits to see the race horses in Kentucky—and she would often visit with Billy Graham because they had the same fundamental Christian faith."