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President and Mrs. Kennedy Present Grand Duchess Charlotte with Elizabethan Program at White House

Apr. 30, 1963 - The poetry and music of Elizabethan England echoed in the White House tonight after a dinner for a monarch of a modern era. Performing against a backdrop of velvet, Basil Rathbone, the actor, and the Consort Players of New York presented a program fit for the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. The White House visit was Charlotte’s first since the World War II years, during which she frequently visited President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt after the Nazis invaded her tiny country. Tonight’s state dinner came after a day in which she was welcomed to Washington after arriving aboard the President’s helicopter. The Elizabethan program was presented at Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy’s suggestion. Mr. Rathbone read poetry of that era to the accompaniment of The Players, who perform on instruments of Shakespeare’s day. Mrs. Kennedy, who is expecting a baby in August, watched the performance from an upstairs window. So did her daughter, Caroline, and members of Caroline’s kindergarten class. The visit of the Grand Duchess, who is 67 years old, and her 41-year-old son, Prince Jean, was originally scheduled for last Oct. 30 but was called off because of the Cuban crisis.


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