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Elizabeth II’s ties with America

She had scones with Dwight Eisenhower, went riding with Ronald Reagan and took tea with Donald Trump: Queen Elizabeth II saw 14 US presidents serve during her reign, and she crafted her “special relationship” with America in her dealings with them.

From Harry Truman to Joe Biden, the late monarch met every man who inhabited the White House during her 70 years on the throne save one — Lyndon B Johnson, who moved into the Oval Office following the assassination of John F Kennedy.

Her first visit to the United States came in 1951 — the young princess waved to the crowd from the back seat of a convertible, with a visibly delighted Harry Truman at her side.

Even though she had not yet become queen, Elizabeth exhibited the oratory gravitas of a future head of state when she told the former British colony: “Free men everywhere look towards the United States with affection and with hope.”

After that trip, color brightened official photographs of her travels across the pond. 

Elizabeth, whose reign dovetailed with the rise of the United States as a global superpower, offered all US presidents the same treatment: the studied distance that protocol requires, and the carefully calibrated air of familiarity.

Those meetings came at everything from state dinners at the White House to the time-honored tradition of tea time at one of her many royal residences.

She welcomed the Kennedys to Buckingham Palace for a lavish dinner, and danced in a yellow dress and glittering tiara with Gerald Ford at a state dinner in July 1976 that coincided with the bicentennial of American independence.

While the queen slaked the media’s thirst for all things formal and splendid, she also understood the power of moments that were less scripted and more personal.

– Tacos and scones –

In 1982, she and Reagan, a onetime actor who appeared in Westerns, rode horses near Windsor Castle. He returned the favor the following year, treating the monarch to tacos and guacamole at his California ranch.

George H.W. Bush in 1991 took Elizabeth to a baseball game in Baltimore, where she shook hands with all the players. According to reports at the time, the queen passed on the chance to eat a hot dog at a pre-game reception, but did sip a martini.

In a handwritten 1960 letter to Eisenhower preserved at the National Archives, she gave the retired general her scone recipe, after he’d eaten the teatime favorite at Balmoral, the estate in Scotland where she died on Thursday at age 96.

“I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating,” the queen explains, adding that the baker should not let the dough sit too long before cooking. 

She also suggests using “golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar,” noting “that can be very good, too.”

In more recent years, American leaders have expressed feeling like the aging queen was something akin to a mother figure.

“I don’t think she’d be insulted but she reminded me of my mother — the look of her and just the…

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