Queen Marie of Romania in America, 1926

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Queen Marie of Romania was joined by Prince Nicholas and Princess Ileana for the spectacular State Banquet hosted by President Calvin Coolidge at the White House, on this day in 1926, during Queen Marie’s extensive 44-day Tour of the United States, which was cut short after the sudden illness of King Ferdinand, who passed away a few months later.

From ‘On Tour with Queen Marie‘:

How like a man not to guess that a queen would be getting ready in fine feather for her visit to the executives of another nation! She told me later that she was received most cordially by the President and Mrs. Coolidge and within an hour the call was returned with the quaint formality imposed upon occasions of state, prior to the formal dinner given in the visiting Queen’s honor that night.

The dinner at the White House followed the plan of all state dinners of the present administration. It was a dignified banquet of twelve courses, well served and well appointed. The omission of wine, and the old time servants of the South, gave Queen Marie a real picture of American life in high places. The seating of the dinner guests was strictly American in plan. The Marine Band played during the assembling of the guests in the Blue Room which the Queen entered just before eight o’clock. All guests were presented by name to Her Majesty before the entrance of President and Mrs. Coolidge. The President at once offered his arm to the Queen and led the way to the state dining-room. Mrs. Coolidge brought up the rear with the youthful Prince Nicholas, while the Vice-President, Mr. Dawes, escorted Princess Ileana to the table. This dignified old mansion presented a beautiful spectacle that evening, embellished with masses of the flowers and palms for which the White House conservatories are famous. In all my travels I have never seen a building whose proportions satisfied me as does this stately home of our Presidents, so full of mementos of American history. The Queen was much impressed, as she told me later. She wore a gown of white velvet with a long train, the famous pearls that had been described many times and a diamond tiara; also jeweled decorations as well as rings and bracelets of diamonds. The guests included the royal party, members of the Cabinet, and their wives, and a few other distinguished members of Washington society. The complete gold service was used that evening with the heavy candelabra which were filled with tall gold-colored candles placed on a magnificent mirror which reflected the lights and the gold bowls filled with pink roses and blue delphinium. It was a superb decoration. The dignified proportions of the dining-room, as well as the very impressive architecture of the high-ceilinged reception-rooms, attracted the Queen’s attention. Hanging over the mantel, directly opposite Mrs. Coolidge’s chair at the dining table, is the attractive picture of the President which has recently been painted by Lárzló. The dinner was a most fitting and representative affair, and added its happy quota to the friendliness of nations.

On Tour with Queen Marie



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