Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of Welcome to Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Princess Anne of the United Kingdom

July 16, 1970

Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, the Ambassadors from the British Commonwealth of Nations, and all of our guests today:

It is a very great privilege for me, both officially and personally, to welcome our guests today. As I looked over the historical record of the visits of the Prince of Wales to this house and to this Nation, I find that they take place about once every 50 years: the first in 1860, the next one in 1919, and now in 1970 on this occasion.

The fact that this visit is a personal visit and not an official visit is an indication of the closeness of the relationship between the United States and Great Britain and the British Commonwealth, and also between the family in this house and the family in London.

I would like to say to our royal guests today that we want you to feel very much at home in your brief stay. We want you to get to know our Capital, our Congress, our baseball team--we hope it does better than it has been doing recently when you are here--and also we hope you know and get to know our young people, the young people in our family and the young people you will meet at the occasions that you will be attending here and on your brief stay.

I can say finally that I hope that we can make you feel just as much at home as your grandfather showed such great hospitality to General Eisenhower in a story General Eisenhower liked to repeat.

He recalled that he had been offered a tour of Windsor Castle that was to be completely private and that the Royal Family had sent word to the effect that they would be in the apartment upstairs and he could visit parts of the Windsor Castle that had never been seen by ordinary visitors.

Your grandfather, King George VI, however, had forgotten for the moment when the visit was to take place and the Royal Family was in the garden. He saw the group approaching from afar. And then he and the other members of the Royal Family ducked down low so that they couldn't be seen and crawled along the side of the fence, back up to the apartment so that General Eisenhower would not cancel his visit.

We hope that we can get out of sight for you as well so you can feel completely at home with our young people while you are here.

Welcome very much on this occasion.

Note: The President spoke at 4:15 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House.

Prince Charles responded as follows:

Mr. President, thank you very much indeed for your kind words of welcome. My sister and I have been looking forward very much to this particular visit since you came to London not very long ago and we are very touched that you should have decided to have us in the middle of what must be a very busy summer with all the work that goes on in a capital like this.

We have been looking forward to it enormously because America to me and my sister has always been a very fascinating and intriguing country and we have always longed to come.

And we are particularly grateful to you to let us stay in the White House and little did we expect that the first and the only house we would stay in on our first visit would be the White House. It is a peculiar honor, I think.

We are also very grateful to you for letting us see all the various things of interest in Washington which we shall see when we are here. And we look forward to seeing the Capitol and the various monuments.

One day particularly we hope to come back and see much more of this country which inevitably in only the few days that are left to us here we can't see very much.

Thank you very much indeed. We look forward to it.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Princess Anne of the United Kingdom Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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