Queen Elizabeth II and The College of Wooster

Staff Report
Courtesy: Wikipedia

On Sept. 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor II passed away at the age of 96, surrounded by the Royal Family. To reflect on her legacy, the Voice looked through the archives to uncover past articles and stories regarding Her Majesty. 

Voice Archives Dec. 12, 1952

Al Smith receives a letter back from the Queen’s personal secretary after being named King of Dogpatch, a title given out at the Sadie Hawkins dance.

“Dear King Al..” 

Al Swift, Wooster’s King of Dogpatch for 1952, undertook as part of his coronation ceremonies to send a “royal” greeting to Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. A formal acknowledgment of his note was received by the young king a week or so later, addressed to Livingstone Palace, and sent by the Queen’s personal secretary. While the Queen herself had not signed the reply, it was sent on the royal notepaper, suitably embossed, and will provide a happy reminder to Swifty of his temporary elevation to “King for a day.”

April 16, 1953

Dr. J.H. Cockburn Chaplain to Queen in Chapel

Dr. James H. Cockburn, former Moderator of the Church of Scotland and Director of the Department of Reconstruction and InterChurch Aid of the World Council of Churches, will speak in Chapel on Thursday, April 16. 

Dr. Cockburn is also a Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II and has frequently represented his church at international and ecumenical meetings. During his many visits to the United States, he has lectured throughout the country. At present, he is finishing a tour which took him throughout the South, the Mid-West, and the Eastern Seaboard. 

In 1948 he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Yale University. He has also received the degree of Doctor of Theology from Prague University and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Budapest, Hungary.

Oct. 18, 1957

Wooster student, Eleanor Elson, plans a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a mass where Queen Elizabeth II will also be in attendance.

Off-Center Kauke

Sophomore Eleanor Elson has a big weekend ahead of her. She will be going home to Washington, D.C., where her father is pastor of National Presbyterian Church, which is President Eisenhower’s place of worship. 

Sunday morning a special guest at the church will be Queen Elizabeth II, who will attend with the Eisenhowers. Eleanor will sit in the pew with the first family and the royal entourage. She also plans to attend several embassy parties in honor of the young monarch. 

Eleanor is no stranger to such events, for she has seen dignitaries come and go many times. But this is something special, for how often does the English Queen go to the Scotch church?

Voice archives Oct. 25, 1957

Eleanor Elson had the opportunity to attend Washington’s National Presbyterian Church where President Eisenhower goes with the visiting Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Dignitaries Converge in Washington; Eleanor Elson Hobnobs With Royalty 

“On the Occasion of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as guests of the President of the United States and Mrs. Eisenhower.” 

Such was the heading on the church bulletin at Washington’s National Presbyterian Church last Sunday, where Wooster sophomore Eleanor Elson was attending the service in the company of British and American dignitaries. Her father, Dr. Edward Elson, is pastor of the famed church where President Eisenhower worships. 

“It was so thrilling,” says Eleanor of her weekend at home. She had opportunities to see the Queen at the church service and at a football game Saturday, observing especially the beauty of the young monarch.

She sat two rows behind the Queen and Philip at the church service, amidst such dignitaries as Chief Justice Warren, two other supreme court justices, John Foster Dulles and five other cabinet members, and numerous diplomats, including the Pakistani Ambassador, who came with his Washington wife. 

In the church announcements Dr. Elson paid tribute to the special guests, remarking that “in Scotland, they are considered Presbyterians.” The service featured English hymns and, on special request of Ike, the choir sang “God Save the Queen.” The sermon centered on a theme of world peace, and the Duke nodded his head when Dr. Elson once quoted an Archbishop of Canterbury. 

“It was exciting to see Dad getting ready,” says Eleanor, who mentioned that Washington was in rare form for the state visit. She said the city was alive with large, expectant crowds anxious for a glimpse of the popular young monarch. “It was a fairy tale atmosphere,” notes the blonde sophomore, who has seen many a notable visitor to the capital city. 

At the Maryland Duke football game Saturday, Eleanor saw the Queen from a distance. She noted that Maryland Gov. Theodore McKeldin was very excited when his team made gains, but the observing Queen (it was her first view of football) remained calm. “She is the epitome of dignity,’ says Eleanor, “and the Duke is more casual and relaxed.” McKeldin later claimed that the monarchs were happy about the upset Maryland victory. 

At the game a man presented the Queen with a $15,000 mink coat and she also received a full carload of other gifts. She stopped at a supermarket on the return to the city, surprising late shoppers. 

A State Department protocol sheet is one of Eleanor’s souvenirs of the weekend. It contains such pertinent information as correct titles, appropriate place cards, smoking rules, anthems, ladies’ gloves, dress, and flag display. The circular, which was sent to all entertaining Washington matrons, notes, “The Queen likes Rhine wine, sherry, and Canada Dry ginger ale. Prince Philip may ask for Scotch whiskey and soda water or Gin and tonic water.” Also, Queen. Elizabeth and Prince Philip prefer short, simple meals.”

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