Gagarin told colleagues on his return to the Soviet Union that
- during breakfast at Buckingham Palace he was so in awe of his 35-year-old royal host
- that he brushed her with his hand to ensure she was not a fiction.
- "As a village lad, he only knew about kings and queens from fairy tales"
--- Vladimir Lebedev, a psychologist who worked in the Soviet space programm
--- recalls in the book:
- "Yura told me he wanted so much to be sure it was a real queen
- that he touched her under the table, slightly above the knee"
In response to being touched, "the Queen
- just smiled and carried on drinking her coffee"
- Gagarin told Lebedev