Queen and Commonwealth: The 1957 Royal Visit to Virginia

Transcriptions of Newspaper Articles

Queen Elizabeth, Philip Welcomed in Virginia

Gun Salute, 10–Hour Tour Greet British Royal Couple

By John Kinnier
Times–Dispatch News Bureau

WILLIAMSBURG, Oct. 16—Virginians welcomed Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Wednesday with a booming 21–gun salute and a crowded 10–hour schedule of history, hospitality and occasionally clamorous acclamation.

The royal visit to Jamestown and Williamsburg, the first ever by a reigning British monarch, was a historic occasion recognized by the queen in several brief, graceful speeches during the day.

At Jamestown, a focal point of the queen’s American visit, the overseas expansion of the English–speaking people began and the British Commonwealth of Nations got its start.

"The great American nation was born at this historic place, 350 years ago," Elizabeth said as she was welcomed by Governor Stanley at Jamestown Festival Park.

"I cannot think of a more appropriate point for us to start our visit to the United States," she said.

"The settlement in Jamestown was the beginning of a series of overseas settlements made throughout the world by British pioneers. Jamestown grew and became the United States. Those other settlements grew and became nations now united in our great commonwealth.

"This festival illustrates these two stories, yours and ours. They are stories in which all of us, in the United States, in Britain, and throughout the commonwealth take a special pride. In essence, they are both stories of experiments and adventures in freedom," she said.

Asks Ideals Be Pursued

Elizabeth asked that the ideals of the Jamestown settlers who established the first lasting British colony in the New World be pursued with faith and determination "so that 350 years from now our descendants will be as proud of us as we are of our forefathers."

The queen’s full schedule, followed for the most part with split–second timing, included military honors upon her arrival at Patrick Henry Airport, a religious service in the Old Tower Church on Jamestown island, a hurried tour of the main exhibits at Jamestown Festival Park, tea at the College of William and Mary, an informal reception for some 1,500 guests at the Governor’s Palace and a state dinner at the Williamsburg Inn attended by the Governor and members of the state and federal festival commissions.

State police estimated that 50,000 persons saw the queen at Patrick Henry Airport, Williamsburg, Jamestown and along the route she took Wednesday on the first day of her visit to the United States.

It was a demanding schedule which began promptly at 1:30 p.m. as the queen stepped smilingly from the door of the Royal Canadian Air Force plane which brought the royal party from Ottawa and ended some 10 hours later as the queen and Prince Philip said goodnight to their dinner hosts at the Williamsburg Inn.

Throughout the day, the queen appeared calm, unhurried and happy; interested in the things she was shown and in the several dozen persons to whom she spoke.

The big Canadian plane touched ground at 1:27 p.m. and taxied to the point where the official welcoming party, headed by Wiley T. Buchanan, chief of protocol for the State Department, Governor Stanley and British Ambassador Sir Harold Caccia, had gathered. A crowd, estimated by state police at 10,000 persons, had been waiting nearly two hours.

Elizabeth stepped from the plane, paused an almost imperceptible moment, and smiled. Prince Philip followed almost at once, also smiling.

The queen walked slowly down the line of waiting officials and their wives, greeting each of them, then stood with Governor Stanley as the 82d Airborne Division band played "God Save the Queen" and the national anthem.

As the strains of the music died, an army battery fired a 21–gun salute. The queen and Governor Stanley, escorted by Maj. Lehman C. Black of the airborne unit, then reviewed an honor guard made up of members of each branch of the armed forces. Flags of the 10 British commonwealth nations and the American flag fluttered from standards borne by an army unit.

The queen left the airport with Buchanan and the Governor in President Eisenhower’s "bubble–top" limousine, brought from Washington by secret service personnel for the day. Prince Philip rode in a following car with Mrs. Buchanan and Mrs. Stanley.

The royal entourage drove to Jamestown island, some 20 miles away, for a worship service in the old church of 1639. There the Rt. Rev. George P. Gunn, bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Southern Virginia, read a special prayer for the royal family and recited the prayer used during the first recorded communion service at Jamestown June 21, 1607.

Elizabeth bowed her head solemnly as prayers were offered up for the President, the queen and peace among nations. And as a gift, she received a hand wrought copy of the church’s original silver communion service.

From Jamestown island, the royal couple was whisked to the court of welcome at Festival Park for a red–carpet reception from the full membership of both festival commissions and a crowd which state police Inspector P. W. Crews estimated at more than 10,000. The queen stood poised and solemn on the speakers’ dais as a marine corps band played "God Save the Queen" and the national anthem. The Union Jack was lowered from its flagpole and the royal standard was raised.

In welcoming the queen to the festival, Governor Stanley said that from the very inception of the plans for the Jamestown celebration, it had been "our fond hope that the reigning Sovereign of Britain might grace the celebration."

"Here at Jamestown was born Britain’s greatest ally in the cause of freedom and justice," he said.

Lewis McMurran, chairman of the Virginia 350th Anniversary Commission, escorted the queen and her party on a tour of the Old World Pavilion, the British exhibit at the park, and the reconstructed James Forte.

The tour’s only unscheduled stop came at the full–scale copies of the three ships which brought the settlers to Jamestown. The couple had not been scheduled to board the vessels but they climbed the gangplank of the Susan Constant, largest of the ships.

As the queen and Philip left the ship and prepared to go to Williamsburg, a flight of 18 jet bombers—six from the Royal Air Force, six from the United States Navy and six from the United States Air Force—roared across the sky above the ship in an aerial salute.

Before leaving Festival Park for Williamsburg, Philip paused once more to speak to several children waving Union Jacks and crying, "Long live the queen." They were children of Mrs. Louis Zuzma of Williamsburg, formerly of Australia, and of Mrs. L. T. Warriner, a Williamsburg resident who formerly lived in England.

From the park, Elizabeth and Philip came here to the home of Alvin D. Chandler, president of the College of William and Mary, and Mrs. Chandler where they had tea at 4:20 pm.

Twenty–five minutes later, the queen led the royal party to the Christopher Wren Building on the college campus. Additional crowds waited outside the building for a glimpse of the queen. On a small balcony draped with green and yellow bunting the royal couple exchanged gifts with James M. Robertson, rector of the board of visitors of the college, and Chandler.

The queen praised the "first college of royal foundation" in North America. I cherish this link between the crown and your college…because it is a part of our joint histories, particularly as it is a part of our histories in which we can both take pride. It also demonstrates the very close association which always existed between learning, the arts and sciences of our countries," she said.

The queen gave the college a copy of the statutes of the Order of the Garter which had been presented to Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, the nephew of King William, "some three years after he and Queen Mary had granted a charter to their royal college in Virginia."

The college in turn gave the queen a portfolio of original line drawings of college buildings.

After leaving the college, Elizabeth and Philip mounted a horse drawn phaeton for a 20–minute ride down Duke of Gloucester st. to the Governor’s Palace. Riding with the queen and Philip were Winthrop Rockefeller, chairman of the board of Colonial Williamsburg and Mrs. Rockefeller.

At the palace some 1,500 persons nibbled on 4,000 hot hors d’oeuvres, 5,000 cold canapes and Dutch sandwiches.

At the reception, the queen passed slowly though a long open column of guests, stopping frequently to have persons presented to her. Several steps behind, Philip chatted with guests along the way.

Following the reception the queen and Philip made a short inspection of the restored Colonial Capitol and then were driven to the Williamsburg Inn to dress for dinner. They entered the inn and ended there the public portion of their local visit, at 6:50.

Queen Looks Around on Her Own

A Bright, Interested Tourist

By Charles McDowell, Jr.
Times–Dispatch Staff Writer

WILLIAMSBURG, Oct. 16—Behind the stockade where the Jamestown settlers took refuge from the Indians, Queen Elizabeth II got away from crowds and pageantry for a brief interlude Wednesday and was able to poke around a little on her own.

Inside the Jamestown Festival’s reconstructed fort, the atmosphere was properly Colonial, quiet and relaxed. The queen—strolling about like a bright, interested tourist—seemed to enjoy her visit there as much as anything she did on this first day of her visit to the United States.

Followed by the official party, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip walked through the stockade gate and looked around at the little cluster of thatched buildings inside. Citizens in costume played the parts of the inhabitants of 1607.

Near the gate a group of men were bowling iron balls at a stake, and the queen paused to watch. A bowler frowned with concentration, aimed and bowled. But the pressure was too much for him; the ball wound up 20 feet short of the stake. "Choke up!" muttered a 20th century photographer nearby.

Halberdiers and pikemen—soldiers of the 3d Infantry, Ft. Myer, wearing long stockings, pantaloons and all the rest that went with being a soldier in 1607—were drawn up in the center of the fort enclosure. Beyond them, the queen spotted two citizens in the stocks. She nudged Prince Philip and they walked over to the two unhappy–looking prisoners.

One of the prisoners had his feet in the stocks and his hands were tied over his head and held aloft by a sort of gallows. The queen, her eyes shining, smiled at the prisoner and said, "It looks terribly painful. Is it painful?"

The prisoner shook his head. "No, ma’am."

Prince Philip asked, "Has anyone thrown any rotten eggs at you?"

The prisoners laughed and shook their heads.

Prince Philip turned to the stern–looking sergeant of the guard and asked, "What are they in there for?"

"Gossiping, minor crimes, such things as that, sir," said the sergeant.

"We don’t have punishment for gossiping nowadays," replied Prince Philip, who is know to have strong feelings about gossip, particularly when it touches the royal family and its circle.

Prince Philip turned to inspect a halberd or something, and Del. Lewis McMurran, chairman of the Virginia 350th Anniversary Commission, was nearby and noticed the queen’s and her husband’s interest in the prisoners. He said something about "her majesty’s loyal opposition," pointing to the men in the stocks, and everyone laughed.

Lecture on ‘Daub and Wattle’

The queen’s attention was attracted to a little thatched house with a hole in its front wall; two men were mixing mud in a tub and packing it against woven sticks to patch things up. The queen walked straight to a white–whiskered old citizen standing in a doorway and asked him what the men were doing. He was C. E. Topping, playing the part of the Jamestown apothecary, and he was happily able to give her a little lecture on "daub and wattle," which seems to be the name given to mud–and–woven–sticks construction.

Very much interested, the queen watched the men for a moment and even peered curiously down into the tub full of mud.

With McMurran giving a quiet commentary, but allowing the queen to wander where she wanted to, she walked through the rugged little church and past the pens of goats and chickens and some of the other houses within the stockade.

In front of one house stood a man and two women, costumed like the rest and smiling. Prince Philip stopped to talk.

"What’s this?" he asked, peering at the house while the three citizens beamed at him.

"It is a typical settler’s home," the man began, meaning to go on with his explanation.

"With two wives?" asked Prince Philip.

The man and the two ladies were delighted, but they didn’t know what to say right off.

"Oh, I understand," said Prince Philip quickly. "This is the wife and this is the mother–in–law."

Except for the mild stampede that occurred when the queen departed from the script and went aboard the Susan Constant, everything went remarkably smoothly all day long. The prearranged program in its shortest form ran to about eight closely–typed pages. Then there were really detailed and much longer scripts for those directly connected with the queen’s step–by–step passage from one point to another. If a minor official was supposed to take two steps forward, one step back, shake hands, or even take off his hat, it was all written out for him.

Some of the organizations that had agents on hand to keep things orderly and efficient were the Secret Service, Scotland Yard, the State Department Security Division, the state police, special police of various types and the army.

* * *

The reaction of the big crowds that saw the queen was rather a puzzlement to the word–painters of the press who like to describe crowd reaction with one or two brisk, definite adjectives.

Actually, the crowds were never very loud, but never anything but enthusiastic. They were never wildly demonstrative, but they were never cool.

At Patrick Henry Airport, at Jamestown island and at the festival park, the spectators were predominantly women and children. You never saw so many little children. And the sounds that these crowds made ran strongly to squeals, whoops and ooh’s and ahh’s. There wasn’t much sustained applause because almost every adult was (1) holding a child up in the air, or (2) taking pictures frantically, or (3) climbing, stooping, or balancing precariously to get a better view.

* * *

On the William and Mary campus, the queen received a fairly lust ovation as she walked from the president’s house to the Wren Building. Then when she appeared on the balcony of the Wren Building—people especially like queens on balconies—she got the loudest cheer of the day. As she rode down the Duke of Gloucester st. in the open carriage, a wave of clapping, flag waving and more squealing went along with her.

* * *

Getting off the plane at the airport in her "scarab blue" coat and her jaunty little hat made of pheasant feathers, Queen Elizabeth looked even younger and perkier than most people probably expected. She smiled easily, moved gracefully and seemed genuinely interested in meeting the dignitaries and reviewing the honor guard—duties that were not likely to hold any new thrills for her.

At least a dozen women were heard to announce within two minutes, "She is radiant." That is probably as good a word as any.

The queen, Governor Stanley, and the honor guard commander reviewed the army, navy, marine and air force honor platoons by passing down the front of the line and then walking behind them near the crowd packed behind the airport fence. The band played a Scottish air and the queen swung along briskly, carrying a big handbag and chatting with the Governor. He shortened stride, stayed in step and bent down as he walked to hear what the queen was saying.

Everyone got a fairly satisfactory look at her except one member of the marine honor guard who had collapsed after standing at stiff parade–rest for 30 minutes waiting for the plane to arrive.

Bible Errors Are Amusing to Royal Pair

WILLIAMSBURG, Oct. 16—(AP)—Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip got a big laugh at the Colonial Capitol Wednesday night out of Williamsburg’s famed misprinted Bible which confuses vinegar and vineyards, printers and princes.

They went through the Capitol with Winthrop Rockefeller, head of the foundation which spent 62 million dollars reconstructing the 18th century throwback to Colonial days. Mrs. A. W. Snead, resplendent in a billowing cerise gown called a farthingale, led the way for royal visitors. Two Negro footmen, elegant in knee–length maroon coats and knee breeches, held 18th century copper lanterns so Elizabeth could find her way along the brick walk to the building.

Cites Persecution

In the Bible the 11th Chapter of Luke is entitled the "Parable of the Vinegar" and elsewhere it says "printers (instead of princes) have persecuted me without a cause."

The queen broke out laughing and Philip commented on the printers–princes line: "Very true words."

Mrs. Snead, however, had the last word: "It was printed at Oxford, in England."

Mrs. Snead told the queen she had the pleasure of showing her mother around the capitol in 1954 and said "we all fell in love with her, she is so lovely."

"Yes," Elizabeth smiled.

"It must run in the family," Mrs. Snead added, and with that the visit ended.

[For more information: The Bible mentioned in this article is described and illustrated on our website.

Text of Elizabeth’s Speech at Dinner

WILLIAMSBURG, Oct: 16—(AP)—The text of Queen Elizabeth’s speech at the dinner given here Wednesday night by the State and Federal Jamestown Festival Commissions and the Governor at Williamsburg Inn:

Thank you all for your kind and generous words.

It has been a fascinating experience for us today to follow in the footsteps of your forefathers, and my countrymen, from Jamestown, the site of their first settlement to this lovely capital of Colonial Virginia.

Here, at a great period in your history, their descendants proclaimed their faith in certain great concepts of freedom, justice, law and self–government. Those concepts have had a profound influence on the political development, not only of the United States, but all freedom loving countries. This magnificent restoration of Colonial Williamsburg is a constant and vivid reminder of those principles. That is why we regard it as a major contribution to understanding between us. If it inspires us all to closer cooperation in the fulfillment of these common ideals, then Williamsburg will have done more than dramatise history and rebuild the past: it will have helped to build the future.

We are particularly happy to begin our visit to the United States here in Virginia. It is a very pleasant gateway for anyone coming from Britain, and the very names of your cities: Richmond, Winchester, Norfolk, Portsmouth, are pleasantly familiar. I am told that there is a county in Virginia named for every English king and queen from Elizabeth I to George III.

The name of your state itself, does honor to the first of these monarchs whose name I bear. The sturdy spirit of independence and initiative displayed by Englishmen of her time, their devotion to large and noble enterprise and their trust in God is an example to us still.

We have had a wonderful day here, and I would like to say how much we have appreciated the true Southern hospitality with which you have received us.

In particular I want to thank you for your generous gifts to us: the replicas of the early chalice and paten which now rest in Bruton Parish Church, these commemorative volumes of a great festival presented to us so eloquently by Dr. Swem, and of course, the portrait of Colonel Augustine Warner.

You have made this occasion an opportunity for all of us to reaffirm the ties which bind all our people together. It will long live in our memories.

The Queen Visits Soil of Her Ancestors

Editor's note: The author of the following article on Queen Elizabeth’s Virginia lineage is a native of Chase City, the son of Edward W. Hudgins, chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and studied law at the University of Virginia. During World War II he was an aide, with the rank of commander, to Adm. Robert B. Carney, NATO commander–in–chief for South Europe. During this time, through his association with Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, commander at Malta, he met the queen and her husband on several occasions. Hudgins now lives in San Francisco.

By William H. Hudgins

WILLIAMSBURG, Oct. 16—When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, alighted from the plane at nearby Patrick Henry airport Wednesday, she was treading the soil of her ancestors. Her eighth great–grandfather, Col. Augustine Warner II, was also the great–grandfather of Gen. George Washington. Her ninth great–grandfather, Col. Augustine Warner, who settled in Virginia in 1650, was also the fourth great–grandfather of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Col. Warner is often referred to as "Elizabeth’s earliest American ancestor." But she had another ancestor, Elizabeth Martiau, who was born in Virginia in 1625, and still another ancestor living in Virginia when Col. Warner arrived in 1650, namely Col. George Reade, who came to this country in 1637. Col. Reade’s daughter, Mildred, married the son of the first Col. Warner who bore his father’s first name of Augustine and in turn became a colonel himself.

Ninth Great–Grandfather

Col. Reade, the ninth great–grandfather of the present British queen, was born in England on Oct. 25, 1608. He came to Jamestown in 1637 in a secretarial capacity with Governor Sir John Harvey. He owned much property in Virginia. He was first captain, then major and later colonel in the colonial militia. He was acting secretary of state of the colony during the absence of Richard Kemp, from 1637 to 1641; and also acting governor from 1638 and 1639.

He was a member of the House of Burgesses for James City county in 1649 and for York county in 1655 and 1656. Col. Reade served as a member of the King’s or Governor’s Council of Virginia from 1657 until 1661. He died in October, 1674, and is buried at Yorktown.

Col. Reade was the ninth great–grandson of King Edward III, who came to the throne of England in 1327. Edward III selected the original members of the Knights of the Garter.

In 1641, Col. Reade married Elizabeth Martiau, who was born at Elizabeth City, Va., in 1625. She was the eldest daughter of Capt. Nicholas Martiau, who was born in France in 1591.

Mildred Reade, daughter of Elizabeth Martiau and Col. Reade, married Col. Augustine Warner II and their daughter, Mary Warner, married Col. John Smith of Purton, Va., in 1680. Their daughter, Mildred Smith, married Robert Porteus of Newbottle, Va., in 1700.

Members of Clergy

The son of the last named couple, named for his father Robert, was educated in England and became the Rev. Robert Porteus, rector of Cockayne Hatley, County Bedford, and married Judith Cockayne in 1736. Their daughter, Mildred Porteus, married Robert Hudgson of Congleton, County Chester, and their son, the Rev. Robert Hodgson, Dean of Carlisle, married Mary Tucker. Their daughter, Henrietta Mildred Hodgson, married Oswald Smith of Blendon Hall, County Kent, in 1824.

In 1853, their daughter, Frances Dora Smith, married Claude Lyon–Bowes, later Bowes–Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore. Their son, Claude George Bowes–Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore, K. G., K. T., married Nina Cecilia Cavandish–Bentinck in 1881 and their daughter, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite is the present queen mother of England.

Many hundreds of Virginians living throughout the Old Dominion today are also direct descendents of Martiau, Reade, Warner and Smith.

Britain’s illustrious former prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, also has Virginia ancestors on his mother’s side. At a dinner given by the American consul general in Venice a few years ago, the writer told Sir Winston that he was pleased that the former prime minister was joining the Society of the Cininnati in the State of Virginia. After taking a long puff on his cigar, the typical Churchillian reply was:

"Yes, I am proud of my American ancestry and of the part that they played in the war that we fought against us."

Transcriptions of State Documents

Your Majesty,

The memory of your visit to Virginia will long be cherished by the people of our Commonwealth and most especially by Mrs. Stanley and me.

Our hope that Your Majesty would recognize the unspoken invitation, on the occasion of our visit to Buckingham Palace, has been most graciously and most gratifyingly fulfilled.

No visitor to our shores has ever so quickly and completely captured all our hearts and claimed such willing admiration and respect.

Mrs. Stanley and I are deeply appreciative of your graciousness in receiving and greeting our grandchildren in whose memory you will always reign, The Queen.

With every good wish for your health, your happiness, and your continued success, and with highest regards to Prince Phillip.