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