Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Letter from FDR Requesting that the King Visit the
United States in 1939 after His Visit to Canada


My dear King George:-

When I was in Canada a few weeks ago, Prime Minister Mackenzie King told me, in confidence, that there is a possibility that you and Her Majesty will visit the Dominion of Canada in the summer of 1939.

If this visit should become a reality, I hope very much that you will extend your visit to include this United States. I need not assure you that it would give my wife and me the greatest pleasure to see you, and, frankly, I think it would be an excellent thing for Anglo-American relations if you could visit the United States.

As you know, an International Exposition is to be held in New York City (and another one in San Francisco) in 1939. Doubtless you would not be able to visit both of them but if you could come from Montreal or Ottawa to New York, it would be only and overnight journey.

If you should be here in June or July you might care to avoid the heat of Washington and in such a case it would give us the greatest pleasure to have you and Her Majesty come to visit us at our country home at Hyde Park, which is on the Hudson River, about eighty miles north of New York, and therefore, on the direct route between New York City and Canada. Also, it occurs with me that a Canadian trip would be crowded with formalities and that you both might like three or four days of very simple country life at Hyde Park -- with no formal entertainment and an opportunity to get a bit of rest and relaxation.

In case you would care to come to Washington, however, and to see the Capital, you would, of course, stay with us at the White House. This would of necessity be somewhat more formal, and, in the event that the Congress is still in session, there would probably be great pleasure for you to be received by the Congress.

You and I are fully aware of the demands of the Protocol people, but, having had much experience with them, I am inclined to that that you and Her Majesty should do very much as you personally want to do -- and I will see to it over here that your decision becomes the right decision.

I have had, as you know, the great privilege of knowing your splendid Father, and I have also known two of your brothers. Therefore, I am greatly looking forward to the possibility of meeting you and the queen.

There is, of course, no hurry about plans for next year, but I want you to know how sincerely welcome you would be if you could arrange to come to the United States.

I am asking Mr. Kennedy to give you this, but I think that we can keep any talk of your visit out of diplomatic channels for the time being. Your Ambassador, Ronald Lindsay, is a very old and close personal friend of mine.

I forgot to mention that if you bring either or both of the children with you, they will also be very welcome, and I shall try to have one or two Roosevelts of approximately the same age to play with them!

With my sincere regards,

Faithfully yours,

(Signed)Franklin D. Roosevelt