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As George and Elizabeth entered the gray and pale yellow dining room, Meyer Davis' orchestra greeted her with "Beautiful Lady." Crystal bowls holding thousands of red and white roses decorated the great dining table which was not covered; individual napkins at each place bore the plates. The service, designed by Walter Dorwin Teague consisted of gold plates decorated with the United States coat of arms and the stars representing the forty – eight states. Thirteen stars, for the original states, were etched on the glassware.

A specially vetted corps of twenty waiters replaced the normal Federal Building staff. The waiters wore formal evening dress with white ties and white gloves, while the six wine bearers wore grayish blue uniforms, the Federal Building's color. Individual waiters did not solely serve the King and Queen and the major domo expected the entire meal to last fifty minutes. ( Although the news media reported Joseph Lewis, who twenty – five years ago as a steward at Glamis Castle served every meal to the future Queen, would once again attend Elizabeth, he was replaced at the last minute for having told the media of his present employment at the Waldorf Astoria, a major breach of etiquette. In his place, Aage Ebberson tended the Queen who. in a rare gesture, thanked him after every course.)

While fifty – five guests dined with George and Elizabeth in untold elegance, a totally spontaneous and yet most American touch occurred in the courtyard outside. The New York Fire and Police Department bands broke into hot popular melodies and hundreds of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, waiting to greet their majesties, jitterbugged in the Court of Peace. The swinging strains and joyful, youthful enthusiasm filtered into the dining room and drew smiles from the King and Queen. Mayor LaGuardia went to a window and was greeted by cheers from the scouts. The cheering grew steadily as first the Queen and then the King waved to the youngsters.


New England Sea Food Cocktail
Jellied Gumbo Louisiana
Breast of Capon – Maryland Style
Corn Fritters – New Lima Beans
Alligator Pear and Grapefruit Salad
Washington Log with Fresh Cherries Flambé
Coffee & Mints

With the soup a dry sherry was served and with the entrée a Chateau Margaus 1928 . Champagne was to have been served with the dessert and coffee but this course was eliminated due to lack of time.

The cost of the meal ran $1.50 per plate. The wines were gifts.

After the meal, the Florida Pavilion added an alligator pear and grapefruit salad to its refrigerated produce display.

Martin Sweeney received an indignant note from his brother, the proprietor of the Gideon – Putnam Hotel in Saratoga, NY that the all – American menu did not include Saratoga chips. Likewise, Mary Margaret McBride, the noted social arbitrator of the Thirties, complained to the chef that fried chicken and cream gravy would have been more suitable than capon in an American meal.


With the official timetable now totally obliterated, the couple inspected the Commonwealth exhibits - Ireland, Canada, and Southern Rhodesia - before taking a brief ride on one of Greyhound's famous "jitterbugs" to the British Pavilion. Greyhound provided special trackless trains for tired fairgoers traversing the fairgrounds.

The roof and floors of the royal "jitterbug" were lined with plush material and the American and British flags flew on the motor cap. This special conveyance's designers neglected to install the customary "East Side, West Side" toned horn. When George and Elizabeth hustled into their seats, the King announced, "Let's go!" and George Blonigen and Parker Cooley pressed the buzzer signal. The pair drove the "jitterbug" at two miles per hour, although the cars were gauged at twenty miles per hour maximum.


Greetings from the KIng and Queen
Photo 1674975 - courtesy of the NY Public Library

When the King and Queen arrived at the British Pavilion, they once again faced the inevitable ordeal of introductions and handshaking. As always, the King paid special attention to the war veterans. He stopped for a moment to speak with Captain Harold Auten, the only known holder of the Victoria Cross in the city. He advised, "Be brave" to Hubert Attale, who lost his leg as a sniper in the Egyptian campaign of the previous war.

However, New York City's sizable African American community felt particularly snubbed by Sir Louis Beale, Britain's commissioner general to the fair. The New York Amsterdam News continually harangued Beale for failing to invite significant numbers of Harlem's "royalty." In protest, Judge James Watson, returned his admission card and invitation to the commissioner, complaining the lone native – born African American to be presented to the royal couple previously served at the British Consulate in New York.


After the round of introductions and handshaking, the King ascended the pavilion's steps, guarded by two massive, stylized - Saxon lions – fashioned after those decorating London's flagpoles during his coronation. Pausing for a moment to read the pavilion's welcoming inscription, he then toured the interior exhibits, stopping longest at the case displaying one of England's greatest treasures, the Magna Carta. Elizabeth especially enjoyed the Scottish Industries exhibit, being the chief patroness of the native weaving industries. However, the king asked Louisa Farrand and Bella MacDougall at the exhibit, ""It's still the tenth of June, isn't it? We've been up so long I feel it must be another day." In the Hall of Metals the Queen met with Mr. and Mrs. Roy Macdonald Syme. For twenty – six years, Syme' grandfather, David, served as stationmaster at Glamis, the Queen's family home. As a boy, Syme worked for his grandfather and met both the young Elizabeth and George. Now a resident of New Jersey, Syme requested passes for himself and his wife but, instead, received a special invitation to meet the Queen.

Leaving by a secondary entrance, the King and Queen entered their automobiles for a quick trip to Columbia University before progressing on to Hyde Park. However, Mrs. T. E. Hanson, along with five other women, ran down the British Buttery's stairs, and tapped on the window of the open car. Mrs. Hansom shouted "Hello, Your Majesty"; the King bowed and at 4:21, to another twenty – one gun salute.

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