How many United States Presidents did Queen Elizabeth II meet?
As you may have heard, Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022, at 96 years old. She was the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning British Monarch. The United States and The United Kingdom have engaged in a beneficial alliance despite our initial separation in 1776. In this post, we will share Queen Elizabeth’s visits with various United States Presidents and some major events going on at the time. In total, Queen Elizabeth met 13 out of the 14 United States Presidents that served during her lifetime. The only U.S. president that she did not meet was President Lyndon Johnson.
The first U.S. President she met as a Princess was President Harry Truman in 1951. During this time, the United States congress passed and ratified the 22nd amendment of the United States Constitution limiting U.S. Presidents to two-term limits. “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once.” Additionally, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was published on July, 16 1951. To this day, the novel is one of the most controversial novels and is listed frequently on the ALA’s banned book list.
Later, as Queen, she visited the United States in 1957 to attend dinner at the White House with President Dwight D. Eisenhower. During this time, there were civil rights movements throughout the country. Following the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that declared segregation in public Schools unconstitutional, schools began to gradually integrate. In Arkansas, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to provide safe passage into Little Rock Central High School for the Little Rock Nine.
After being hosted at the White House, The Queen decided to host the next U.S. President at Buckingham Palace in 1961. Both President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy visited the palace in a grand and reportedly glamorous affair. Back at home in the States, the 23rd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which allowed the District of Columbia to participate in electing the President, was ratified by Congress. Additionally, the American Civil Rights Movement was at the forefront of American politics. The Freedom Riders‘ bus was fire-bombed in Alabama in May of 1961. From their efforts, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) issued regulations banning segregation in interstate travel in the fall of 1961.
Queen Elizabeth II never met President Lyndon Johnson. Following his Presidency, the Queen hosted President Nixon at Buckingham Palace in 1969. During this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in another landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines. The Court ruled that the First Amendment applied to public schools. Additionally, NASA launched Apollo 11 on July 16th 1969 and landed the first human being on the surface of the moon. Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, landed on the moon and planted an American flag and plaque reading “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”
Following Nixon’s resignation, President Gerald Ford invited the Queen to a State Dinner at the White House in 1976. This year also marked the bicentenary of U.S. independence. In his speech, President Ford remarked, “Your Majesty, the wounds of our parting in 1776 healed long ago. Americans admire the United Kingdom as one of our truest allies and best friends…” During this time, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that the death penalty did not violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments under all circumstances in Gregg v. Georgia. Additionally, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) was established in 1976 by five Latino Congressmen. It serves as a legislative service organization of the United States House of Representatives.
After defeating the incumbent President Ford, Jimmy Carter became the next U.S. President. President Carter visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1977. In the first year of his presidency, Carter issued an executive order declaring unconditional amnesty for Vietnam War draft evaders and created the United States Department of Energy . In pop culture, George Lucas released the first Star Wars film, later subtitled Episode IV- A New Hope, and Elvis Presley died at age 42.
President Ronald Reagan became the first U.S. President to stay at Windsor Castle, and then hosted the Queen at his ranch in California in 1983. Their meeting was pleasant, and they appeared to share a common interest in horses. During this time, Sally Ride became the first American Woman in Space while aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. President Regan also declared Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal Holiday to be observed on the third Monday of every January in honor of his role as a civil rights leader.
President George H. W. Bush
Like Regan, the Queen hosted President George H. W. Bush at Buckingham Palace in 1989 and visited him in the states to attend a Baltimore Orioles baseball game in 1991. During 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag was protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution in Texas v. Johnson. Later in November 1989, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to raise the minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.25 an hour by April 1991.
To close out the end of the 20th century, the Queen met with President Bill Clinton in 1994 at a ceremony for the 50th anniversary of D-Day. During this time, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that parodies of an original work are generally covered by fair use in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. President Clinton also signed the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
President George W. Bush
The meetings with U.S. Presidents would continue into the 21st century with President George W. Bush. President Bush hosted Queen Elizabeth at the White House State Dinner in 2007. The last time she was there was in 1976 with President Ford. The 21st century began many new developments within the United States including the release of the first iPhone and an economic recession.
President Obama would soon meet the Queen during the Group of 20 nations summit in London in 2009 and again for a visit in 2011. During this time, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice and took her judicial oath on August 8, 2009. Later, Elena Kagan took her judicial oath on August 7, 2010.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queen received President Donald Trump at Buckingham Palace during a state visit in 2019. During this time a record number of women were newly elected and seated in the 117th United States Congress.
The last U.S. President to meet Queen Elizabeth II was President Joe Biden in 2021 during an economic summit. This was the first time Prince Philip was not in attendance due to his passing on April 9, 2021. President Biden shared, “’Today would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday… I know there are a lot of people feeling his absence today.” During this time, the world is still amid the COVID-19 Pandemic including rising cases and vaccine distributions.
In total, Queen Elizabeth II met 13 sitting U.S. Presidents throughout her reign as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth from 1952 to her death in 2022. The relationship between the two nations is due in part to the continued relationship between the U.S. President and the British Monarch. For more articles and research information about the Queen and U.S. Presidents try using our legal databases to browse secondary sources.
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