Queen Elizabeth II who? College Shop employee Frances Moore has lived in Williamsburg since before Elizabeth II took the throne. Williamsburg has since expanded, but that’s okay with Moore. Virginia’s colonial capital remains true to its origins.
p. Moore, who turned 83 this year, has worked at the College Shop for the past 48 years. Over time, Williamsburg has literally changed before her eyes. “It was a small town,” she said. “It’s just not a small town anymore.”
p. “The surrounding area, which used to be nothing, is built up now,” she said. “Condominiums, motels, hotels. But there are so many people that really like the atmosphere of Williamsburg that they return and make their home here,” she said.
p. Still, Moore has grown to accept the change of scenery. Gregarious by nature, she loves meeting people. Those she has met over the years are “very interesting people.” Moore appreciates Williamsburg’s expansion because of the new business and attractions that it brings.
p. “I don’t think that has hurt Williamsburg,” she said. “I think that has helped it.”
p. Moore has come into contact with people from all over the world during her time at the College Shop. She owns a business card signed by John Wayne, who once visited the store. And while the rest of Williamsburg anticipates the arrival of Elizabeth, that’s an old shoe to Moore.
p. “I saw the Queen and her husband when they were here in 1957. They rode the carriage right down DoG Street. I was standing on the street very close to her, which was very exciting. I’m hoping to get to see her again. I’m not sure if I will or not with so many people, but it’s exciting,” she said. “I was impressed with the Queen Mother, too. She was so beautiful. Her skin was not even a blemish. Her skin was so beautiful.”
p. At 83, Moore has no plans to leave Williamsburg in the near future. For now, she will continue to work at the College Shop and travel, a pastime she enjoys with her spouse. She looks forward to meeting more people.
p. “I left Williamsburg for three years. When I came back, I said I’m never leaving again. I like it because it’s centrally located. I like the people in this area. But after I came back, I said I might go on a trip but I’ll never go again,” she said. “I just always liked the atmosphere of Williamsburg. I like working in the public.”