She was a vivacious young queen when she first saw New York City in 1957, regal in white gloves but as dazzled as any tourist taking in the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of Manhattan from the deck of a rumbling Staten Island ferry. She wanted her first sight of the magical city “as it should be approached,” she said — from the harbor.
Cheering throngs lined Broadway for miles, showering Queen Elizabeth II with affection as blizzards of ticker tape engulfed her entourage. She waved from President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s bubble-top limousine, a tiny woman suspended in time. She spoke at the United Nations, surveyed the romantic city from atop the Empire State Building and dined that evening at the Waldorf-Astoria in a diamond tiara.
“A visit to New York for just a day is really a teaser,” she said of her 15 whirlwind hours in a town her imagination had conjured from pictures. “Everyone has a mental picture of famous places they have never seen. But I suppose the mental pictures of New York are nearer reality than those of any other city.”