Public Lecture delivered by Kate Williams
The Royal Diplomat: The Queen and US Presidential visits, from Eisenhower to Trump
President Donald Trump had barely been in office for a week when Prime Minister Theresa May invited him to Britain for a state visit. The offer was controversial. More than 1.8 million people signed a petition opposing it, leading to a debate in Parliament and discussions everywhere. But what about the woman whose formal invitation it was?
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is by far the world’s longest serving head of state, having just celebrated her sapphire jubilee. In 65 years she has welcomed more than 100 official state visitors to Britain, including Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, French president Charles de Gaulle, and the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, among others. While only two other US Presidents – George W Bush and Barack Obama, have been afforded official state visits, Her Majesty has hosted Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan at critical periods during post-war history.
In this public lecture, historian and broadcaster Kate Williams will examine how the Queen has helped to shape Britain’s post-colonial role in the world, and how the endurance of the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and America has in part been sustained by the diplomatic skills of one remarkable woman.
Kate Williams, Professor of History at the University of Reading, is a British author, historian and television presenter.