Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Earl of Athlone in talks with FDR

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October 20, 1940

President Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted a lunch for members of two royal families at his home in Hyde Park, New York, reports the New York Times.

The President "entertained informally at this luncheon in honor of his weekend guest, the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada," who is in the United States to "exemplify the new ties between the United States and Canada." 

Lord Athlone's two-day visit to Hyde Park will end tonight when the President returns to Washington.   The Earl, the brother-in-law of King George V, and the President held several conversations, all "clothed in privacy," but it appears they are both concerned about "recent reports of the progress of the war in Europe."

Lord Athlone's family and his "small official party" accompanied the President and his mother, Sara, to St. James's Episcopal Church, which is a short drive from the President's home.  The Governor-General remained at Hyde Park as he is suffering from a cold.

Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and her husband, Prince Felix joined the other guests for lunch, as well as State Department officials, all of whom were invited by the President.  The British guests included Lord Athlone, his wife, Princess Alice, and their daughter Lady May Abel Smith and their staff.

Photographers were permitted to take photos of the President and his guest outside the church but due to a prior order from the White House, no photos were taken of the President and Lord Athlone, due to the latter's illness.

However, the Governor-General and his party will remain tonight at Hyde Park and leave tomorrow for a brief visit to New York City.

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