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, touching lives in states across the country along the way. While official tours, and even impromptu tours, include a number of important tasks, they also typically allow for moments of downtime in front of the public and celebrity-filled fun. From King George VI and the future Queen Mother’s first hot dog to Prince Charles’ date with Tricia Nixon, these photos show how many memories have been 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 US in 1939. Here, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the royal family walk the streets of New York on their way to to the Commander in Chief. Cabin retreat

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 a hot dog for the first time!

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

The then-Princess Elizabeth made her first trip to the United States in 1951, where she met with President Harry Truman. “Whenever someone meets you,” he told her at the time, “they immediately fall in love.”

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

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

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

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

During a stop in Hollywood, the royal family visit Alfred Hitchcock on the set of his film Broken curtain.

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon take riding lessons at the Arizona ranch of former US Ambassador to Great Britain Lewis Douglas.

The couple stops in Washington, DC toward the end of their trip to visit places like the Lincoln Memorial.

During his first visit to the States as Prince of Wales, Prince Charles gets cozy with President Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia at a baseball game. “It was pretty fun, I have to say,” he later told CNN of the trip. “That was the time they were trying to get me married to Tricia Nixon.”

Princess Anne joins her brother on the White House balcony, alongside President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon.

Queen Elizabeth dances with President Gerald Ford at a White House state dinner during his visit to the East Coast in 1976.

Queen Elizabeth passes by the famous Philadelphia Liberty Bell.

The monarch waves to onlookers as she walks past the iconic Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City.

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

The future king makes a stop in California, where he visits the set of M*A*S*H. Actors, including Alan Alda, share a laugh with the royal over an inflated surgical glove.

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

Prince Charles and Princess Diana chat with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan in the West Room of the White House.

At a dinner in the Cross Hall of the White House, Princess Diana shares a now famous dance with John Travolta. First Lady Nancy Reagan helped them find each other. “Oh, yes you can,” Reagan told Travolta when he expressed that he “couldn’t” ask the royal to dance.

During a polo match in Palm Beach, Florida, Princess Diana hands out awards to participants, including her husband.

Four years later, Princess Di made her first official trip abroad without Prince Charles. After arriving in New York City, visit the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, a non-profit organization that provides resources and services to residents in need.

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

The monarch made Congress laugh two days later by joking: “I hope you can see me today.”

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. He is seen laughing with her Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, Vogue publisher Anna Wintour, designer Ralph Lauren and Georgetown University President Leo J. O’Donovan.

Here, Diana visits what is now known as the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital. from Cook County to Chicago.

A few months later, Diana returns to the Big Apple for the Met Gala, wearing that now-iconic Versace dress and statement jewelry.

Prince Edward accepts the special Bette Davis Award at Boston University for his work in documentary filmmaking.

Princess Anne receives a collection of historic seeds to celebrate the opening of the British Royal Garden in Manhattan.

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

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

Later that day, the monarch lays 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 take a trip of their own the following year. Here, they laugh during a painting class held at Inner City Arts in Los Angeles.

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

While attending the BAFTA Brits to Watch event, they mingle 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 the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to catch a basketball game. They were seen sharing popcorn…

Appearing on the jumbotron…

Talking it out with Jay-Z and Beyoncé…

And even getting 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 of the White House.

Meghan Markle cheers on her friend Serena Williams at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. She is seated with the tennis star’s family and friends, including Venus Williams and Anna Wintour.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share an intimate moment before delivering a keynote speech at the United Nations in New York City.

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