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May 28, 2019 Washington, D.C. —
Below is a list of Her Majesty’s notable visits to the Executive Mansion:
- Royal Visit, 1951: Princess Elizabeth first came to Washington, D.C. in 1951 with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She stayed at Blair House with President Harry Truman and his family, as the White House was under major renovation (1948-1952).
- Royal Visit, 1957: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh stayed with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower at the White House in the same suite which her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother, had stayed during their visit in 1939. The Queen arrived in Washington, D.C. as part of her state visit to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Despite unfavorable weather, large crowds lined the streets to greet the Queen as she traveled by motorcade from National Airport to the White House, and several hundred onlookers pressed against the White House fence hoping for a closer view. After a journey to Arlington National Cemetery to honor U.S. military personnel, the British guests attended a State Dinner at the White House.
- Bicentennial Royal Visit, 1976: During the American Bicentennial of 1975-1976, Queen Elizabeth II visited the United States and the White House on a goodwill tour. During this visit, the royal couple were hosted by President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford for a State Dinner on July 7, 1976, in the Rose Garden. Queen Elizabeth II presented President Ford with a soup tureen that featured a painted image of the White House and Independence Hall. This and other gifts from the Royal Family to the United States were later put on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution.
- Royal Visit, 1983: President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at Rancho Del Cielo, their Santa Barbara home in the Santa Ynez mountains of California. The royal guests braved a California rainstorm to have lunch with the first couple. While the weather reminded accompanying British journalists of “Scotland on a foul day,” the lunch was more aligned with the region’s cuisine, featuring enchiladas, chiles rellenos, refried beans, tacos, rice, and guacamole. On March 3, 1983, President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan hosted a State Dinner for Queen Elizabeth II in San Francisco at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.
- Royal Visit, 1991: President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip for a State Dinner on May 14, 1991. During the visit, the queen also planted a commemorative tree, a Little-Leaf Linden, on the South Lawn.
- Royal Visit, 2007: President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip when she visited the United States and the White House in 2007. This visit, similar to her visit in 1957, celebrated the 400th anniversary of the English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia. The royal couple attended an elegant white-tie State Dinner hosted in their honor. President Bush invited that year’s winning Kentucky Derby jockey Calvin Borel, as the Queen is a renowned racing fan, and owns and breeds racehorses. During her stay, she also visited the World War II Memorial with President Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush—a World War II veteran.
About the white house historical association
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.