Found in the Archives

Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth II

In the United Kingdom, 2012 marks the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. While the Queen’s reign began after the Roosevelt years in the White House, there was a relationship between the Roosevelts and the Royals. Her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, had visited the United States in 1939, and Eleanor Roosevelt had traveled to the United Kingdom in 1942 to visit troops during World War II and again in 1948 to unveil a statue of FDR. Eleanor also had been invited to the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947. While she was unable to attend, afterwards she was sent a piece of the royal wedding cake.

The Queen’s coronation was held on June 2, 1953. Eleanor was invited but unfortunately she was unable to attend due to a prior commitment to be in Japan “trying to explain what democracy means from the Western point of view.” In her letter to the Queen, Eleanor writes:

I shall think of you on Coronation Day and wish you God’s blessing. May your reign be long and peaceful and prosperous for  your people. I know that all you can do for the good of your own nation and the world, you will do in these years to come.

1953 Christmas Card to Eleanor Roosevelt from the British Royal Family

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2 Responses to Found in the Archives

  1. Chris says:

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to visit America because he (FDR) was hoping that the American people — who were very isolationist at the time — would soften their hearts about helping England if they saw the King and Queen here in person.

    He guessed right.

    The American people took the English King and Queen to their hearts, and opposition softened toward helping England with supplies prior to our entrance into WWII.

    FDR’s masterful planning and policies prior to our entrance into WWI and, then, during WWII undoubtedly helped to save Western Civilization.

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  2. Chris says:

    By the way, the Queen Elizabeth who visited the United States (at FDR’s invitation) in the summer 0of 1939 was the mother of the Queen Elizabeth in the picture here.

    The royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth took place in June of 1939, just prior to England’s entry into World War II.

    The current Queen Elizabeth (pictured here as monarch, wife and mother) was a young person in 1939 and had stayed home in England.

    Maybe it would be nice to show a photograph of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth as they toured Washington D.C. in an open convertible, the King sitting with FDR and the Queen sitting in another car with Eleanor Roosevelt.

    FDR’s wisdom in inviting the English King and Queen for that get-acquainted-with-Americans visit was proven by the American public’s new willingness to aid England in its fight with the Nazis. FDR used the next two years to prepare the U.S. for the war he felt certain was about to envelop us.

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