Found in the Archives

Of all the material you might find in an archive at a Presidential Library, who would have thought you’d find actual material?

Eleanor Roosevelt Papers: Visit of British Royalty 1939, Preparations for Visit.

Stapled to a press release preceding the 1939 Royal Visit by the King and Queen of England are two fabric swatches of wool from gowns to be made for Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth. The gowns were to be worn as a friendly gesture to the International Wool Growers of Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the United States. The “Queen’s Blue” swatch, chosen by Queen Elizabeth, was made using American wool while the “Azure Blue” swatch for Eleanor Roosevelt was made from British wool.

Just imagine what it would have been like wearing wool in Washington D.C. in June!

To read the full press release, click the following: Wool Fabric Swatches. For more information about the 1939 Royal Visit, check out this special feature from our website.

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2 Responses to Found in the Archives

  1. Mary Ann Colopy says:

    This is fascinating. Is there an accompanying doc or pix of the completed garments? I assume this was in files related to the visit, is there similar textile info in files related to other state visits?

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  2. fdrlibrary says:

    We definitely have photos of the Royal Visit, but because they are in black and white, it is difficult to tell what dress the fabric relates to.

    Because of its political and diplomatic importance, the Royal Visit was unique among state visits and was closely choreographed and planed by the Roosevelts. We doubt that there is similar fabric related to other state visits in the collection, but only a search of the files would confirm.

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