The Roosevelts and the Royals by Will Swift
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In June 1939, three months before the outbreak of World War II, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain paid a visit to the United States - the first time a British monarch had ever set foot on American soil. At the time, many Americans had deeply ingrained hostilities toward England, and American isolationists were opposed to helping Britain fight the Nazis. Their Majesties' hosts were Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who honored them with a state dinner in Washington and an intimate sojourn at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park in New York, where the king and queen were served hot dogs at a famous picnic. In its headline, the next day's New York Times eloquently summarized: "King Eats Hot Dog, Asks for More."

For the first time, The Roosevelts and the Royals tells the true story of the friendship that developed between the two couples and nations. It was a friendship that would transform the Roosevelts' and Windsors' lives in ways none of them could have anticipated. For many, this event finally marked the symbolic end of the American Revolution and the true beginning of the crucial Anglo-American alliance that continues to this day.

Written by leading royal historian Will Swift, The Roosevelts and the Royals is based on original source materials, including letters and diary entries-many of which are reproduced here-as well as interviews with numerous family members and original comments from the Queen Mother. Telling the story of the Roosevelt and Windsor dynasties from the 1880s all the way up to a royal visit to Hyde Park in 2002, the book traces in riveting detail the early years and development of all four colorful and complex main characters, portraying their rise to power in their respective nations and showing how the two couples' friendship evolved and grew stronger through the challenges of wartime and beyond. The author takes us behind the scenes to provide a uniquely intimate account of the shared struggles, private disappointments, public triumphs, and personal idiosyncrasies of the Roosevelts and the royals. We learn of the strong impact King George VI's 1939 meeting with FDR had on the reluctant monarch and how it emboldened him to be the leader his subjects needed during their darkest hour. We discover how Eleanor and the queen supported each other at vulnerable moments in their lives and how Eleanor's deepening relationship with the royal family heartened her as she became one of the world's greatest humanitarians. We see how the American people played a key role in bolstering the newly widowed Queen Mother's confidence as a beloved royal ambassador to the world.

Filled with extraordinary anecdotes and insights into the lives and characters of two of the twentieth century's most influential couples, illustrated with rare and revealing photographs, The Roosevelts and the Royals is a masterful account of a pivotal chapter in history.

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The Roosevelts and the Royals
Franklin and Eleanor, The King and Queen of England, and the Friendship that Changed History

by Will Swift
John Wiley & Sons: June 2004; ISBN: 0-471-45962-3; Hardcover; 384 pages
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