‘Fairy princess,’ ‘youthful eyes,’ and scone recipes: Queen Elizabeth’s seven decades with a dozen US presidents – Washington Examiner

Spread the love

President Trump is dining Monday night at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth II, capping a series of interactions with the 93-year-old royal.

Trump, who met the queen at Windsor Castle last year, is the 12th president she has encountered. The queen did not meet just one since taking the throne in 1952.

Over seven decades, Elizabeth diplomatically thanked a president who cloyingly called her a “fairy princess” and danced with another after dinner in the Rose Garden.

Between horseback riding and scone recipes, she also built relationships with Britain’s most powerful ally. The following is a look back at some of her encounters.

Harry Truman

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, HARRY TRUMAN
Princess Elizabeth with President Harry Truman, 1951.

Queen Elizabeth’s first presidential meeting occurred in October 1951, when she was a 25-year-old princess. The future monarch was greeted at National Airport in Virginia by President Harry Truman, and they shared the back seat of a convertible riding to Washington.

At dinner, Truman offered an awkward compliment. “When I was a little boy, I read about a fairy princess, and there she is,” Truman said, gesturing.

Elizabeth graciously responded: “I thank you very much, Mr. President. I propose a toast to the President of the United States.”

Dwight Eisenhower

Elizabeth became figurehead of the waning British Empire in February 1952. President Eisenhower took office a year later, but they did not meet until his second term.

In 1957, Eisenhower, the former supreme Allied commander in Europe, hosted a state dinner at the White House wearing the British Order of Merit medal presented to him by Elizabeth’s father George VI.

History of Food, Queen Elizabeth
A 1960 letter from Queen Elizabeth II to President Eisenhower.

After hosting the Eisenhowers at Balmoral Castle in 1959, Elizabeth wrote Eisenhower a note on Buckingham Palace stationery. The 33-year-old mother of two shared her drop-scone recipe, advising the president she reduced the flour and milk if making fewer servings.

“I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too,” she wrote.

John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline had dinner with the queen at Buckingham Palace in June 1961, after a two-day summit in Vienna with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

A crowd of Londoners broke through a police line following the dinner and surrounded the first lady’s car to look at her. The president was traveling in a separate vehicle that departed earlier.

Like Eisenhower, Kennedy had a wartime connection to Britain. His father was U.S. ambassador in London from 1938 to 1940, at first advocating appeasement of the Nazis, before resigning shortly after their occupation of France.

Richard Nixon

President Lyndon B. Johnson never met the queen. But President Nixon met her many times, usually for lunch.

As vice president, Nixon escorted Elizabeth down the U.S. Capitol steps following a 1957 lunch. In 1958, he and the queen chatted during a war memorial in London.

Nixon as president braved anti-Vietnam War protesters to lunch with the queen at Buckingham Palace in 1969, before joining the queen in 1970 for lunch at the more secluded English country house Chequers, north of London.

The queen’s meal at Chequers was called “unprecedented” by journalists who noted it was the first known meal taken by a king or queen at the rural getaway for prime ministers.

Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford Elizabeth
President Gerald Ford dances with Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth visited Washington for the second time as monarch in July 1976, and found herself treated to an outdoor dinner in the Rose Garden, followed by dancing with President Ford in the emptied-out state dining room.

The summer night dinner was described as beautiful, but soured by jokes by Bob Hope, who made the crowd uncomfortable recounting his interaction with a top hat one night in the Lincoln Bedroom.

A columnist speculated, however, that she may have been bored. “Nobody but the Fords and the Rockefellers would talk to her, and nobody but Jerry Ford would dance with her,” wrote Sally Quinn in the Washington Post.

The trip apparently irked the queen because the Secret Service forced her to use a specific limo, resulting in graceless flashes of leg as she exited.

Jimmy Carter

President Carter joined a 51-year-old Queen Elizabeth and six other world leaders for dinner in 1977 at Buckingham Palace.

The dinner coincided with the third annual G-7 summit of the world’s leading capitalist powers.

Carter, a farmer from Georgia known for his modesty, posed for a photo with the queen and Prince Phillip. Carter wore a clownishly large black bow tie, poorly matching the one worn by the queen’s spouse.

During the same visit, Carter breached protocol by kissing the Queen’s mother Elizabeth, widow of George VI, on the lips. The Queen Mother, who died in 2002 aged 101, snapped: “Nobody has done that since my husband died.” She later commented: “I took a sharp step backwards – not quite far enough.”

Ronald Reagan

Queen Elizabeth II and Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth II as they go horseback riding.

President Reagan and Queen Elizabeth bonded over a love of horseback riding at Windsor Castle in 1982, and the pair had a notably friendly relationship.

During a 1983 trip to the United States, Reagan and the queen stuffed an itinerary with social events. The two planned to ride horses at Reagan’s California ranch, but due to rain had to stay indoors for a taco lunch. First lady Nancy Reagan then sailed to San Francisco with the queen, before Reagan hosted a large state dinner. The day after, the queen threw a yacht party to celebrate the Reagans’ 31st wedding anniversary.

Reagan would see the queen twice more as president — in 1984 and 1988 — during trips to London.

George H.W. Bush

President Bush visited London three times while in office, and Queen Elizabeth visited Washington once, in 1991.

During a White House state dinner, the queen praised Bush’s role in the recently concluded Gulf War, in which a U.S.-led coalition reimposed an absolute monarchy in Kuwait.

“You led not with bombast but with what is called ‘three o’clock in the morning courage,'” the queen told Bush.

Bill Clinton

President Clinton hobnobbed with the queen during several visits to London, but she never paid him a visit in Washington.

Their first meeting came in 1994 — the same year as palace officials denied as “complete nonsense” Trump’s public claim that the queen’s son Prince Charles had joined Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

During Clinton’s final meeting with the queen in 2000, Clinton chatted about his time golfing with her other son, Prince Andrew.

On his way back to Washington, Clinton reminisced to reporters aboard Air Force One, saying that the 74-year-old queen’s hair had gone white, but she had “youthful eyes.”

“She has these baby blue eyes — just piercing,” Clinton recalled.

George W. Bush

President Bush also visited with the queen during several visits to England, and she returned to the U.S. for her most recent official trip in 2007 to mark the 400th anniversary of English colonization.

The gaffe-prone Bush suggested during a welcoming speech that the elderly queen was 230 years old — living at the time of the American Revolution.

“She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child,” Bush recounted, making light of the slip over dinner.

Barack Obama

Obama Queen Elizabeth
Michelle Obama walks with Queen Elizabeth II.

President Obama gifted the queen an iPod loaded with audio of his speeches during their first meeting in 2009, drawing widespread mockery. Michelle Obama was criticized for touching the queen on her back.

Obama made a safer choice in 2016, when for the queen’s 90th birthday he gave her a photo album documenting her visits with U.S. presidents.

By: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/fairy-princess-youthful-eyes-and-scone-recipes-queen-elizabeths-seven-decades-with-a-dozen-us-presidents

Leave a Reply

Close Menu