AUGUST 19, 1954
NEW YORK, Wednesday—The Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain will arrive in the United States on October 28 and stay until November 12. During that time she is to join in Columbia University's bicentennial celebration and receive an honorary degree from Columbia. On November 3, she will be the guest of the English Speaking Union at a dinner in New York City.
The last time the Queen was here was just before World War II, when she came with her husband, King George VI. My husband and I were in the White House at that time, and he felt that their visit had great significance because the war clouds were gathering and his feeling was that it was important for the U.S. and Great Britain to increase their mutual understanding and cordial relations.
The royal couple seemed very young at that time and I was acutely conscious of the heavy burdens that were going to weigh upon their shoulders. Both of them had a deep sense of responsibility.
They were very evidently devoted to each other, and, even though their schedule was heavy, you were conscious that there was a shared purpose in all they did and that the close family ties were kept up in spite of all the official duties. When they were at Hyde Park, they phoned their children in England, and the Queen was as excited as any young mother over the news of dogs and country activities relayed by the children.
The English Speaking Union has established a King George VI Fund to bring graduate students to this country, and at the dinner next November, a list of all the contributors will be presented to the Queen.
I hope very much that her visit here will be a happy one, though I fear that being here alone may make her more poignantly aware of her loss. I know that the people of the U.S. were charmed by her sympathy and her cordiality the last time she was here, and they will welcome her with the kind of warmth of hospitality we extend to those we are really glad to see.
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Mr. Pare Lorentz has been working for a number of years on research for a book which covers not only my husband's life but the whole period of history in which he lived—in the U.S. and in the world. It seems to me that what Mr. Lorentz has done will be a great contribution to research and to all the students of that period of history. This book represents a tremendous task and will be, I think, a coveted possession for anyone interested in history.