Sunnylands honors the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Sunnylands honors the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and recalls the enduring friendship between Queen Elizabeth II and the Annenbergs

Prince Philip, Leonore Annenberg, Queen Elizabeth II, and Walter Annenberg pose outside the Annenberg home.

The children and grandchildren of the late Walter and Leonore Annenberg, who are the trustees of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, would like to convey their best wishes to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, on the official celebration of her Platinum Jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

In the United Kingdom, celebrations are underway. When the Queen reached 70 years on the throne on February 6, 2022, she became the first British monarch to achieve a Platinum Jubilee. She previously became the longest-reigning British monarch in September 2015, surpassing Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 216 days. Celebrations include a national U.K. holiday weekend June 2 through 5. The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.

Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II are greeted upon arrival by Ambassadors Walter Annenberg and Leonore Annenberg.

The Annenberg family has enjoyed an enduring friendship with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, and her late husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, since Walter Annenberg served as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s from 1969 to 1974.

The Ambassador and Mrs. Annenberg were honored to welcome Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to a luncheon at Sunnylands, when the royal couple toured California for 10 days in 1983. It was one of the rare times that The Queen visited a private home in the United States.

Queen Elizabeth II and Walter Annenberg in the Room of Memories at Sunnylands. The room contains memorabilia from Walter Annenberg’s stint as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1969 to 1974.

“I doubt that I shall live to have another such visitation as I did on February 27th,” Walter Annenberg wrote afterward to The Queen’s assistant private secretary. “No greater compliment was ever paid to my wife and me than a visit by Her Majesty and His Royal Highness.”

Guests at the 1983 lunch included former President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty Ford; top-level diplomats, such as John J. Louis, then the current U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s; and the then-Chief of Protocol Selwa Roosevelt.

Leonore Annenberg and Queen Elizabeth II chat in the Room of Memories at Sunnylands.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip toured Sunnylands and spent time in the Room of Memories, which displayed hundreds of pictures, including many of the Royal couple themselves, from the Annenbergs’ time in London.

Queen Elizabeth II made Walter Annenberg an Honorary Knight Commander in 1976 and Mrs. Annenberg a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2004, demonstrating the favorable relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and the Annenbergs.