David Charter

Royal Audience

by David Charter

From the moment she first enchanted the United States as a youthful princess, Queen Elizabeth II found a unique place in American hearts and developed an extraordinary personal bond with successive US presidents. Royal Audience - The Queen and the US Presidents tells the story of the special relationship between Britain's longest-reigning monarch and no fewer than 13 Commanders-in-Chief.

Royal Audience will provide insights into the grand state occasions of royal and presidential visits from those who took part and experienced them firsthand, and charts Elizabeth II’s more idiosyncratic brand of one-to-one diplomacy - from horse-riding with Ronald Reagan, to dancing with Gerald Ford and sharing her recipe for scones with Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Not all royal encounters with US presidents went smoothly - as evidenced by Jackie Kennedy’s complaints about Elizabeth's attire and her palace, and the Queen Mother’s shock at being kissed on the lips by Jimmy Carter - but all marked memorable highlights in an extraordinary 70-year career as her nation’s top international envoy.

At their most successful - such as the affinity struck up with the Obamas - the Queen’s interactions with her US counterparts acted like a restorative tonic for relations between two nations that were occasionally buffeted by the vicissitudes of international affairs, but fundamentally bound by deep cultural and political ties.

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