Royal News

How the Queen charmed US President Eisenhower to help cement ‘special relationship’

The pancakes became such a favourite treat of the US President that the 34-year-old monarch later sent him her secret recipe in a letter. In the letter, seen by The Sun, she wrote: “Dear Mr President. Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper, standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral.

I hope you will find them successful.

“Though the quantities are for 16 people, when there are fewer, I generally put in less flour and milk, but use the other ingredients as stated.”

The Queen also took the opportunity to impart some of her cooking tips to the former US army general.

She said: “I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too.

“I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn’t stand about too long before cooking.”

While a basic recipe requires just flour, milk and eggs, the Queen’s method requires a few extra ingredients – such as caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda, creme of tartar and melted butter.

The meeting at Balmoral was not the first encounter between the 34th US President and the Queen.

Like Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower had got to know her Majesty when she was still a Princess.

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As Supreme Allied Commander in London, he had also developed friendships with her parents, King George VI and his Queen Elizabeth.

In 1957, Eisenhower hosted the Queen’s first state visit to the US as the UK’s ruling monarch.

Then in June 1959, President Eisenhower flew to England, where he was a guest at Balmoral and treated to the delicious pancakes.

Later the same year, both the president and the Queen celebrated the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the joint U.S-Canadian project to link the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

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They travelled on the Queen’s beloved yacht Britannia.

At one point an American congressman, as reported by BBC News, shouted out to the president: “We have all fallen in love with the Queen, Ike!”

Meanwhile, the Queen revealed how she and Princess Margaret celebrated VE Day with crowds thronged outside Buckingham Palace, describing the occasion as “one of the most memorable nights of my life”.

The recollections were recorded during an interview with the BBC Radio 4 programme The Way We Were for the 40th anniversary of VE Day on May 8 1985.

The interview was posted by Buckingham Palace to its social media channels to help commemorate this year’s celebrations, which have been seriously curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Her Majesty described in detail how she and her 14-year-old sister Margaret were able to mingle unnoticed with joyful revellers standing outside Buckingham Palace.

She said: “We cheered the King and Queen on the balcony and then walked miles through the streets.

“I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.”

The Queen was determined to do her bit for the country during the war and volunteered with the Auxiliary Territorial Service as an 18-year-old.


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