Franklin Roosevelt had a soft spot for European royals and did not miss the opportunity to escort Edward Albert, Prince of Wales, to the U.S. Naval Academy with other dignitaries on November 14, 1919.

President and First Lady Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt famously hosted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park in June 1939. Twenty years previously in November 1919 Assistant Naval Secretary Roosevelt and others hosted George’s brother, Edward Albert, on the Prince of Wales’s visit to Washington D.C. This was the same trip I mentioned a few days ago in which the heir apparent to the British Crown had come to North America in that year just after the Great War’s end for an extended period. The future King Edward VIII spent most of that period, almost four months starting in early August, in British Canada, entering the United States via train on November 10 in the border town of Rouses Point, NY on Lake Champlain to a warm welcome on a cold autumn evening from U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing, various British & American military brass, and most of the Rouses Point population of around 2000. The following day he arrived in Washington’s Union Station while Armistice Day ceremonies were going on nearby. He spent some moments that afternoon with the incapacitated President Wilson at the White House.

The image we see above was taken at the Naval Academy of November 14. Here we see Roosevelt on the far left. It is always striking to see how strong and virile he was before contracting polio, less than two years after this photograph was taken. The Prince of Wales is second from the right, wearing the uniform of Captain of the Royal Navy. The announcement stating that Edward Albert would visit Annapolis had gone out ten days prior; in that announcement the Prince of Wales made clear he was representing not just England and Britain, but Canada and the Empire itself during his American tour. Still, his time in the American capital was brief. After the visit to the Naval Academy he took a three-day respite in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia before coming to New York for five days. While here, among many other things, he visited West Point two hours up the Hudson to visit the cadets at the Military Academy. He was in the United States for a mere two weeks, but had done and seen much in that brief span.

(image/Library of Congress)