Back in 1947, the British crown wanted 700 pounds of lobster for guests at Queen Elizabeth’s wedding to Philip Mountbatten.
To supply the Nov. 20 wedding for then-Princess Elizabeth, whose reign as Britain’s longest serving monarch ended when she died on Thursday, officials were looking to stay within the commonwealth and turned to Canada.
But it ended up being a Deer Isle lobster seller that came to the rescue.
According to a brief Associated Press article the day before the wedding, a royal command to fly 700 pounds of Canadian lobsters to London couldn’t be met by Maine’s northern neighbor. The fishing season had only started just a few days earlier and Canada just didn’t have what the royal family needed.
Buyers then went to Augustus Heanssler, a Deer Isle man whose family has run lobster pounds for decades, to save the day.
Heanssler’s descendents, who still own lobster impoundments, said it’s a well-known family story that “Gus,” who had his last name spelled wrong in the AP clipping posted on Twitter Thursday, supplied lobster to royalty.
“My grandfather told us that,” said 70-year-old Nelson Heanssler, who still works at the family’s pound. “We sold them to a Boston dealership and they told us later that they went to the queen’s wedding.”
Heanssler believed it was the only time the family had served Maine’s most famous export to a member of the royal family.