Queen Elizabeth State Dinner with President Ford. Ford's toast to Queen Elizabeth. Washington, DC
President Geral Ford toasts Queen Elizabeth II, "Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, distinguished guests: We are deeply honored to have you, and Prince Philip with you, this evening. On behalf of all Americans, Mrs. Ford and I take the greatest pleasure in extending the hospitality of the United States to you and your party who are visiting us. (applause) Your Majesty, this evening we honor a very remarkable relationship between two sovereign nations. During our 200 years as an independent nation, the United States has never forgotten its British heritage. Nearly four centuries ago, the British came to a wilderness and built a new civilization on British custom, British fortitude, British law, and British government. Our Founding Fathers served in British colonial legislatures, fought in British military forces, and learned representative self-government from British books and practice. Yet, for all this, the colonists from England and other lands created in America a civilization different from that of the mother country. Inevitably, we dissolved the political bands that connected us. The United States won independence and established a nation that adapted the best of British traditions to the American climate and to the American character. Our reconciliation, our friendship and firm alliance seem, in retrospect, to have been natural for two nations that share the same fundamental devotion to human dignity. Our first Ambassador to England, John Adams, foresaw that future when he spoke to your great-great-great-grandmother, Queen Charlotte, and said, Permit me, madam, to recommend to Your Majesty's royal goodness a rising empire and an infant virgin world. It will, in futures be the glory of these kingdoms to have peopled that country and to have sown there those seeds of science, of beauty, of virtue of piety, which alone constitute the prosperity of nations and the happiness of the human race. Now, 200 years later, we have settled our continent. People have come from every corner of the Earth to share in the hope, the building, and the spirit of our Republic. On this Bicentennial, Americans have united in a new mood of hope and of confidence. We are very delighted by your very timely visit and by your gracious participation in this great reaffirmation of American pride. John Adam's prophesy has been fulfilled. Your Majesty, you personally attested to the accuracy of his vision (C/A's of Queen Elizabeth.) that England would someday be proud of the United States. In 1951 , during your visit to Washington, you stated that free men everywhere looked toward the United States with affection and with hope. The message that has gone out from this great Capital City has brought hope and courage to a troubled world. This year, I know that you will find the warmth of your reception even greater than before. You will recognize in the American people a continuing, unswerving devotion to the principles that have made our two countries champions of freedom and a new American spirit of confidence and optimism as the United States enters its third century."
President Geral Ford toasts Queen Elizabeth II, "The ties that bind us together have, through two great wars, served as a bulwark in the defense of liberty and the dignity of man himself. These ideals, born and nurtured in our common past, have withstood the test of time. Our two nations today are working side by side in preserving freedom through commitment to a common defense in the Atlantic alliance, in pursuing peace and greater global stability, in seeking the well being of all peoples through our joint efforts, as in Puerto Rico, a little more than a week ago, to improve our own societies and to assist the developing nations of the world. Your Majesty, during the time of your reign and during my service in our own Government, the world has seen many, many changes. In the last generation, our two countries have met what sometimes seemed to be insurmountable obstacles and challenges.Today's challenges and obstacles are no less serious. They are different, and in many ways more complex, than those of the past. Yet I am confident that the democracies, working together, can and will proceed with courage and dedication to do as well as those first stalwart Englishmen who settled here, and their descendants who forged an independent nation, will ultimately and definitely prevail. In a changing world, our continuing relationship is a reassuring symbol of our determination to continue the defense of freedom. Your Bicentennial visit and the many, many generous gifts from the British people are vivid reminders of the continuing vitality of the friendship and our partnership in a noble endeavor. (Vice President NELSON ROCKEFELLER applauds) Your Majesty, as we celebrate our past, we also look forward with confidence to working for a better life for all humanity. In our third century, I know that the United Kingdom will be on our side and the United States will be on your side. (applause) Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen, the Queen." (Everyone stands and toasts the Queen.)