What Queen Elizabeth's relationship was like with every US president, from Truman to Trump

Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth II, pictured on a visit to Hull last month.
  • Queen Elizabeth II, currently the world’s longest-reigning monarch, met President Donald Trump for an official state visit to the United Kingdom on Monday.
  • Since 1951, the year before she ascended to the throne, the Queen has met with 12 US presidents and helped facilitate the US and UK’s diplomatic relations.
  • Here’s what the queen’s relationships and meetings with US presidents have been like from Harry Truman to Donald Trump.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

President Donald Trump has landed in the UK for the second time.

From June 3-5, the president and first lady will attend several distinctly British meet-and-greet opportunities, including tea with heir Prince Charles, a banquet at Buckingham Palace, a tour of Westminster Abbey, and a D-Day anniversary ceremony, most of which will be alongside royalty.

Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the throne in 1952 and is currently the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has played a major role in facilitating the US and UK’s “special” diplomatic relationship and has met with 12 American presidents at places including Buckingham Palace, the White House, and even a Baltimore Orioles game.

She travelled to Washington, DC for the first time to meet President Harry Truman in 1951 when she was a still a princess, and most recently hosted President Donald Trump at Windsor Castle when he visited England last year.

Here’s what the queen’s relationships and meetings with US presidents have been like, from Harry Truman to Donald Trump.


When Queen Elizabeth was still a princess in 1951, she travelled to Washington, DC to the first time to meet President Harry Truman, and the two complimented each other’s nations. “Free men everywhere look towards the United States with affection and with hope,” she told Truman.

Sources: Vogue, UC Santa Barbara Presidency Project


The queen developed a close friendship with President Dwight Eisenhower, who hosted Her Majesty for her first state visit to the US as queen. They corresponded by letter for years — with the queen even sharing her recipe for grilled scones with Eisenhower.

Source: BBC America


The queen reportedly felt upstaged and outshined by Jacqueline Kennedy when she and President Kennedy toured France and England in the summer of 1961 The queen hosted them at Buckingham Palace.

Source: Washington Post


Nevertheless, Queen Elizabeth and President Kennedy warmly corresponded until his death in 1963, after which the queen created a physical memorial and a scholarship fund in Kennedy’s honour.

Source: Washington Post


President Richard Nixon met the queen multiple times during his time as vice president and president — and reportedly tried to fix his daughter Tricia up with Prince Charles, the queen’s eldest son.

Source: BBC America


President Gerald Ford hosted Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip for a state dinner. “If I hadn’t kept mixing up Your Highness and Your Majesty (he’s His Highness, she’s Her Majesty) I’d give myself four stars for the way that visit went off,” First Lady Betty Ford wrote of the dinner in her memoirs.

Source: Ford Presidential Library


Outside of the occasion’s formalities, the Fords did have a humorous moment with the queen during the 1976 visit that involved their 24-year-old son, Jack.

CORBIS/Corbis via Getty ImagesPresident Ford dances with England’s Queen Elizabeth during a visit by the Queen to the United States.

Kate Andersen Brower, the author of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies,” told CNN that when the Fords brought the queen and Prince Philip to the residence before the visit’s dinner, they ran into Jack, who was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

The queen reassured the first lady about the run-in, saying: “Don’t worry, Betty, I have one of those at home, too.”


President Jimmy Carter committed in infamous faux-pas in kissing the Queen Mother on the lips during his visit to Buckingham Palace to attend a NATO event.

Source: BBC America


Queen Elizabeth developed a close relationship with President Ronald Reagan, with whom she shared a love of horseback riding.

Source: BBC America


The queen was reportedly quite close with both Nancy and Ronald Reagan, whose family ranch she visited in 1983.

Ronald Reagan Library/Getty ImagesPresident Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan welcome Queen Elizabeth II to their ranch at Rancho Del Cielo, California, March 1 1983.

Brower told CNN the first lady wrote about the queen in her memoir and the two “had a good relationship.”

Reagan wrote that the queen came to the ranch after the president and first lady mentioned it during a visit to Windsor Castle, and the queen wanted to ride horses.

Though the queen made it to the ranch, “the weather was awful, so instead the Reagans left the ranch to go on the royal yacht Britannia,” Brower told CNN.

Despite the change of plans, Reagan wrote: “I spent that evening with the Queen, sitting on a sofa in the large living room, talking about our children like old friends.”


In 1989, the queen granted Reagan honorary knighthood — the highest distinction the United Kingdom awards foreigners — in recognition of Reagan’s assistance to the UK in the Falkland Wars.

Source: Associated Press


George H.W. Bush, a life-long baseball fan, took Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to a Baltimore Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics game in 1991 — the first time the queen had been to a baseball game.

Source: Politico


After President Bush died in December 2018, the queen put out a statement that honored him as “a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom” and a “patriot.” She also sent Prince Charles to represent the Royal Family at his funeral.

Source: Town & Country, Marie Claire


“Her Majesty impressed me as someone who but for the circumstance of her birth, might have become a successful politician or diplomat. As it was, she had to be both, without quite seeming to be either,” President Bill Clinton wrote of the queen in his memoir.

Source: BBC America


In 2007, Queen Elizabeth poked some light-hearted fun at George W. Bush over his mistakenly saying she had to come to celebrate America’s bicentennial in 1776 instead of 1976.

Source: The Guardian


In 2009, President Barack Obama gifted the queen an iPod with historical video footage of her previous visits to the US going back to the 1950s, as well as his 2009 inaugural address and 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Source: BBC America


In her memoir “Becoming,” Michelle Obama described accidentally violating royal protocol by putting her arm around the queen as a show of affection and support, but says Her Majesty didn’t seem offended and reciprocated the gesture back.

Sources: BBC America, Harper’s Bazaar


President Donald Trump was accused of committing several royal faux-pas during his summer 2018 visit to England — including being late to meet the queen at Windsor Castle, walking in front of her, shaking her hand instead of bowing, and turning his back to her.

Sources: USA Today,The New York Times


While the queen has been diplomatically mum on her opinions of Trump, he has praised Her Majesty. “If you think of it, for so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake. You don’t see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman,” Trump said of the queen before their meeting.

Source: Town & Country Magazine


Trump embarked on his second chance to connect with the queen on June 3, when they opened the three-day state visit to the UK at Buckingham Palace. He will also join her to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday.

Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty ImagesMelania Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, and President Donald Trump in June 2018.

Source: Business Insider

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