NOVEMBER 4, 1954
EN ROUTE TO LOS ANGELES, Wednesday—It was a very great pleasure on Tuesday to have Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and her lady in waiting, Mrs. Milholland, drive up to Hyde Park to lunch with my youngest son and his wife and myself. It was a very informal party, with only a few other friends present.
The Queen Mother has such a warm and sweet personality that one feels her real friendliness of spirit and forgets the long periods of time between meetings. She and the King were here in 1939 and so many things on Tuesday brought up thoughts of that visit. Then we remembered my visit to England in 1952 when I stayed with them at Buckingham Palace and a later visit when I went to stay with them in Windsor at the time the statue to my husband was unveiled in Grosvenor Square. Since then, I have not seen her except briefly, but anyone who has felt her charm will always remember her with affection and deep respect.
The only member of our family who seemed a little doubtful of the importance of the occasion was my youngest granddaughter, Joan, who was only persuaded to shake hands after considerable reassurance. In the future, however, she will remember that she had the honor of meeting a very great lady.
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I am writing this column on election day, so I know nothing as yet about the final results. Being a pessimist, I always expect to lose and therefore, if I happen to win, it is that much more of a surprise. I hope with all my heart that we are not going to lose, but whatever happens in this world one has to accept it and go forward with the intention of doing better next time.
If one wins one has to put the best one can into one's service because that is all one can do to repay the voters who put their trust in a candidate. If one loses one must struggle equally hard to build up one's party and to use one's time usefully in business, even though one does intend to go back to politics in the future.
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I felt guilty because the rain made our trip down from Hyde Park so slow that I was late arriving in New York where Mr. and Mrs. Matsumoto were waiting for me, and also Mr. Atal, just in from India. I was so concerned about being late that I did not realize that he had practically dropped from the clouds! He was our constant guide and companion while we were in India. I had hoped that he would come to this country but at the moment I came in I did not realize who he was. I was so concerned about being late for my other guests that only apologies came to my lips. And then it dawned on me that I was welcoming a guest I had long hoped to see. I hope I made him realize how happy I was to see him and when I get back from my West Coast trip I shall hope to see him fairly often.