However, based on records at the British National Archives, it appears that the British royals were not enthusiastic about the endeavor right away.
According to The Guardian, Queen Elizabeth’s then-private secretary wrote that the text of a message was approved, but he added: “Her Majesty agrees that this idea is a gimmick and it is not the sort of thing she much enjoys doing but she certainly would not wish to appear churlish by refusing an invitation which is so obviously well intentioned.”
The queen’s initial reaction is shown by the National Archives in a forthcoming blog post celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.
Her message was sent on a tiny disc carried by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. It reportedly read: “On behalf of the British people, I salute the skills and courage which have brought man to the moon. May this endeavour increase the knowledge and well-bring of mankind.”
The royal’s message was just one of 73 sent from figureheads and leaders of countries worldwide.
The National Archives show will include a range of documents and artifacts from that era.
The archives reportedly include an apology from then-U.K. ambassador to the United States, John Freeman, for missing the historic Apollo 11 launch. The Guardian reports that he admitted his absence was a “mistake,” but explained that having witnessed the launch of Apollo 10 at Cape Kennedy just two months previously, “a further visit so soon afterwards would be a pure pleasure jaunt.”
In addition, four tiny pieces of Moon dust, which were gifted to Great Britain by President Richard Nixon, can also be seen at the exhibit.