Celebrate 125! Monday: Royal Meetings

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
November 23, 2015

Recent events inspired this issue’s Flashback item. On April 1, 2015, on the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, President General Lynn Forney Young attended an event marking the launch of a project to digitize the Royal Archives of King George III, who reigned from 1760–1820. The effort, initiated at the request of the Queen, will both preserve and increase access to the earliest surviving substantial collection of British royal papers, including a large amount of material on the American Revolution.

The documents in this collection—which amounts to more than 350,000 pages—concern many aspects of 18th- and early 19th-century political, social and economic history, of both Britain and the early United States. A small sampling of the documents was on view, including a 1781 letter from George Washington to John Jay about the victory at Yorktown.

Between having the opportunity to see such priceless historic documents in person and meeting the Queen, Mrs. Young called the trip “the thrill of a lifetime.” For more information, visit http://youngblog.dar.org/queen-and-i.

Mrs. Young is not the only President General to cross paths with the monarchy of Great Britain. In 1937, President General Florence H. Becker (1935–1938) traveled to Europe, where she toured England, France, Germany and Italy. In England, at the end of her trip, she was presented at court to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

In Germany, Mrs. Becker led the Berlin-based Dorothea von Steuben Chapter in a commemorative marker ceremony honoring General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s service in the American Revolutionary War. (For more about von Steuben, see article in the May/June 2014 issue of American Spirit.) Continuing to France, she participated in a 100th anniversary celebration for the Arc de Triomphe. Mrs. Becker also visited the Somme American Cemetery at Bony in northern France to speak at Memorial Day events. Later, in Rome, Mrs. Becker was received by Pope Pius XI at Vatican City.

In May 1995, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, President General Dorla Dean E. Kemper (1995–1998) represented the National Society at a service of Thanksgiving, Reconciliation and Hope held in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.

This is a Quasquicentennial Flashback article that was featured in the July/August 2015 American Spirit magazine. Subscribe to the magazine here: www.dar.org/subscribe.  

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