Photos of British Royal Family’s Visits to the U.S. Over the Years

The royal family has been visiting the United States for more than 80 years now, touching lives in countries along the way. While official tours – even impromptu visits – come with a range of important tasks, they typically also allow for public-facing moments of downtime and celebrity-studded fun. From King George VI and the Queen Mother’s first hot dog to Prince Charles and Tricia Nixon’s date, these photos show how many memories are made in America. With Prince William and Kate Middleton preparing to visit Boston in December 2022, there’s no better time to look back at the best royal visits to the United States throughout history.

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King George VI and the future Queen Mother were the first members of the British royal family to travel to the United States in 1939. Here, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and members of the royal family walked the streets of New York on their way to the Commander-in-Chief. Retreat cottage.

The King and Queen sail aboard the presidential yacht to Mount Vernon, New York. During a picnic with the President and First Lady, they both tried hot dogs for the first time!

Here, King George VI and the future Queen Mother stand on the steps of the Capitol with senators from around the country.

Then-Princess Elizabeth made her first trip to the US in 1951, where she met with President Harry Truman. “Whenever someone gets to know you,” he said at the time, “they immediately fall in love.”

Queen Elizabeth returned six years later for her first state visit as monarch. He apparently enjoyed his first and only college football game at Maryland, where he famously asked, “Where do you get all the big players?”

The Queen and Prince Philip tour one of the ships at the Jamestown Festival Park pier during a stop in Virginia.

Princess Margaret and her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones rode one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars on a trip to sunny California in November 1965.

Margaret took in the view from the top of the city’s iconic Coit Tower.

During a stop in Hollywood, the royal family visited Alfred Hitchcock on his film set The curtain was torn.

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon took riding lessons at the Arizona ranch of former US ambassador to England, Lewis Douglas.

The couple stopped in Washington, DC towards the end of the trip to take in sights like the Lincoln Memorial.

During his first visit to the United States as Prince of Wales, Prince Charles got cozy with President Richard Nixon’s daughter, Tricia, at a baseball game. “It was pretty funny, I have to say,” he told CNN of the trip. “That’s when they tried to marry me off to Tricia Nixon.”

Princess Anne joined her brother on the White House balcony, along with President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon.

Queen Elizabeth dances with President Gerald Ford at the White House State Dinner during her 1976 East Coast visit.

Queen Elizabeth descended by Philadelphia’s famous Liberty Bell.

King waved to onlookers as he made his way through Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City.

Prince Charles returned to America in 1977, where he toured the McDonnell Douglas factory in St. Here, founder James S. McDonnell shows off an F-15 Eagle jet fighter.

The next king made a stop in California, where he visited the arrangement M*A*S*H. Actors, including Alan Alda, shared a smile with the kingdom through an inflated surgical glove.

Prince Charles continued to mingle with Hollywood stars-like Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors-at a banquet held in his honor at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

While in Downey, California, Queen Elizabeth received a tour of models of Apollo 14 and the Space Shuttle at the Rockwell International Space Facility.

At a dinner in the Cross Hall at the White House, Princess Diana shared her now famous dance with John Travolta. First Lady Nancy Reagan actually helped the two of them meet. “Oh yes you can,” Reagan told Travolta when he declared that he “can’t possibly” ask the royal to dance.

At a polo match in Palm Beach, Florida, Princess Diana presented prizes to participants—including her husband.

Four years later, Princess Di made an official trip abroad without Prince Charles. After arriving in New York City, he visited the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, a nonprofit that provides resources and services to residents in need.

In what eventually became known as her “talking hat” speech, Queen Elizabeth famously presented President George HW Bush with the Winston Churchill Award from behind a podium that was too tall for her 5’4″ frame.

King made Congress laugh two days later by joking, “I wish you could see me now.”

Shortly after her divorce, Lady Di traveled back to the United States for a fundraising event for the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research. She was seen smiling and Washington Post has Katharine Graham, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, designer Ralph Lauren, and Georgetown University President Leo J. O’Donovan.

Here, Diana visited what is now known as John H. Stroger, Jr. Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

A few months later, Diana returned to the Big Apple for the Met Gala, wearing this now-iconic Versace gown and statement jewelry.

Prince Edward received the Bette Davis Special Achievement Award at Boston University for his work in documentary filmmaking.

Princess Anne was presented with a historic seed collection to celebrate the opening of Manhattan’s British Royal Garden.

The Duchess of Cornwall received a close-up view of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia that same year.

A whopping 53 years after her first United Nations speech, Queen Elizabeth returned in 2010 in New. York. “It is my hope that when viewed by future generations, our honesty, our willingness to lead and our determination to do the right thing will stand the test of time,” he said at the time.

Later that day, the emperor placed a wreath at the site of the World Trade Center. It was the first time he had visited Ground Zero since the September 11 terrorist attacks nine years earlier.

Prince William and Kate Middleton made their own trip the following year. Here, they giggle their way through a painting class held at Inner City Arts in Los Angeles.

The newlyweds shared a kiss after William’s participation in the Foundation Polo Challenge in Santa Barbara.

While attending the BAFTA Brits to Watch event, they mingled with stars like Jennifer Lopez.

William and Kate shake hands with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton during a reception in New York City.

While in town, the couple stopped by Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for a game of basketball. They were seen sharing popcorn…

Appearing on the jumbotron…

Chatting with Jay-Z and Beyoncé…

Even received some gifts from LeBron James!

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall speak with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House.

Meghan Markle cheers on close friend Serena Williams at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. He sat with family and friends of tennis stars, such as Venus Williams and Anna Wintour.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared an intimate moment before she gave a keynote address to the United Nations in New York City.

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