When Queen Elizabeth II Visited America's Castle

Queen Elizabeth Visits the Smithsonian

Forty years ago tomorrow,  July 8th, 1976, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Smithsonian as part of her Bicentennial visit to the U.S. She was welcomed by Smithsonian Secretary, S. Dillon Ripley, Chief Justice Warren Burger, Chancellor of the Smithsonian, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and public well-wishers while a group of costumed musicians played flourishes and fanfares from atop the portico of the Castle. This was her Smithsonian itineray:

  • Tour of the Castle (she was the first member of the British royal family to view the room containing the remains of James Smithson, Englishman who left his fortune to found the Smithsonian.)
  • A ceremony in the Associates' Lounge thanking Her Majesty for Smithson's bequest with a presentation of the Smithson Medal
  • Tour of exhibits "Federal City: Plans and Realities," "Treasures of London," and the Hope Diamond.

Queen Elizabeth II and Secretary S. Dillon Ripley

  • Ceremony where Queen Elizabeth presented Secretary Ripley a leather-bound volume, "Leonardo da Vinci Anatomical Drawings." 

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Queen Elizabeth II

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