When Was the Last Time Queen Elizabeth II Traveled to the U.S. and Met With a President?
When it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II was meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on his first international trip, many wondered just how many presidents she has met during her reign and when was the last time she was at the White House.
Queen Elizabeth has been the monarch for more than six decades and during that time she has connected with plenty of world leaders and diplomats but their is one president she never met and a few she did not meet on U.S. soil. Read to find which U.S. Presidents she met at the White House, plus who she did not meet in person.
Who was the first U.S. President Queen Elizabeth II met at the White House?
The royal family matriarch is the only person alive today who can say that spent time with 12 of the last 13 sitting presidents prior to her meeting with Biden.
Her first meeting with a U.S. leader took place at the White House on Oct. 31, 1951, when she met President Harry Truman. At the time, she was actually Princess Elizabeth and visited the Washington D.C. residence on behalf of her father, King George VI, who was too ill to make the trip. Time noted that Truman and his wife, Bess, hosted Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on a two-day visit.
Truman later said he “never before [had] we had such a wonderful young couple, who have so completely captured the hearts of all of us.”
Who was the last president she met with on U.S. soil?
Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952 following her father’s death. She was hosted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on her first U.S. visit as the monarch. Two years later, the American president flew to her Balmoral estate in Scotland.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy attended a banquet in his honor held at Buckingham Palace. the queen and Prince Philip also hosted President Richard Nixon at the palace in 1969. In 1976, Her Majesty went to D.C. for a ball during the bicentennial celebrations when President Gerald Ford was in office. After their meeting, Ford said: “If I hadn’t kept mixing up Your Highness and Your Majesty (he’s His Highness, she’s Her Majesty) I’d give myself four stars for the way that visit went off.”
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter flew to her London residence. President Ronald Reagan and the queen made trips to visit each other in both countries. He was the first president to stay overnight at Windsor Castle. Reagan and Nancy even invited the royals to their ranch in Southern California. After the Reagans, President George H.W. Bush traveled to London and Queen Elizabeth reciprocated that visit abroad in 1991. She met President Bill Clinton on a number of occasions during his two terms in office.
President George W. Bush had lunch with the British head of state in the early 2000s and became the first U.S. president to make an official state visit to the U.K. Because she stopped traveling so much as she got older, George W. Bush was the last president the queen met on U.S. soil in 2007. President Barack Obama made three trips across the pond during his presidency. And in 2018, the monarch hosted President Donald Trump during his trip to the U.K.
Who is the only U.S. president she never met with during her reign?
If you’ve been keeping track of the years and know who was in office at which time, you realized that the only U.S. President the queen did not meet is Lyndon B. Johnson.
As fans of Netflix‘s The Crown know, her sister Princess Margaret actually flew to the U.S. instead as part of a 14-day trip to the states. She and Lord Snowdon attended a dinner with Johnson in 1965. Town & Country reported that when Johnson delivered his toast to his guests he quoted Mark Twain’s line: “I have traveled more than anyone else, and I have noticed that even the angels speak English with an accent.”