"Hot Dogs and Cocktails" by Peter Conradi (2012) [George VI & President Roosevelt]
"Hot Dogs and Cocktails
When FDR met King George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson"
by Peter Conradi
"Hyde Park on Hudson" thread link
(Bill Murray film on the same subject in the TRF's Electronic Domain) -> Hyde Park on Hudson
This is the story behind the historic meeting between Franklin D Roosevelt and King George VI on the eve of the Second World War, now the subject of a major Hollywood movie, Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray as FDR.
Between 9th and 12th June 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were the guests of Roosevelt at his country estate in Hyde Park, New York State, during what was the first ever visit by a reigning British monarch to the United States. Coming at a time when Britain desperately needed American help in the conflict that now seemed inevitable, the meeting was front page news on both sides of the Atlantic and imbued with huge political significance.
In his new book Peter Conradi – who has already introduced us to the gentle, shy figure of George VI in his number-one bestseller The King’s Speech – recreates the backdrop to the royal visit, analysing the political background and the media’s reaction, and telling the back stories both of the King and of Roosevelt, whose colourful personal life became entwined with the visit.
It culminates in the picnic the president hosted for his royal guests in the grounds of his home, in which, to the fascination of newspapers, the King sipped cocktails and sampled that most “democratic” of American foods, the humble hot dog. “King tries hot dog and asks for more” proclaimed The New York Times excitedly the next day. The result is a lively and riveting account of a defining moment in recent world history.
You are probably aware of the new film Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray, which centres on a picnic that FDR hosted for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II in June 1939 on the eve of WW2.
My book, entitled Hot Dogs and Cocktails, How FDR met King George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson, tells the true story behind the picnic which was, in fact, the culmination of an historic three-week tour of North America by the royal couple that took them all the way across Canada and to Washington and New York, where millions of people turned out to see them. The trip - though largely forgotten until the film came out - was a huge deal at the time and did a lot to change American attitudes to monarchy.v cover
reproduced with permission
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