The Queen's Suite is a guest bedroom and sitting room located in the second-floor family quarters of the White House in Washington D.C. It's near the family bedrooms and across the hall from another famous guest room, the Lincoln Bedroom. Perhaps one of the prettiest rooms in the mansion, it received its regal name in the mid-20th century, inspired by the number of royal guests it has sheltered.
|The Queen's Bedroom, 2000. Public Domain|
Before the Roosevelt renovation of the White House in 1902, this room was used to house the President's secretary, a live-in job. During the Lincoln Administration, secretaries John Hay and John G. Nicolay slept in the room and used the adjoining sitting room as an office.
When the West Wing was built, staff moved out, and the suite became a family bedroom. At some point thereafter, it became known as the Rose Room because the bed hangings and curtains were pink, red and white. A bed believed to have been owned by Andrew Jackson was brought across the hall from what is now the Lincoln Bedroom, and complementary pieces of Federal-style furniture helped complete the set.
At some point the room's name was changed to reflect the number of royal visitors who stayed here, including Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands; Queen Frederika of Greece; Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Princess Anne, who visited the White House with her brother Prince Charles in 1970.
Not all guests have been royalty, of course. Family members like Anna Roosevelt, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's daughter, moved into the room in 1944. She served as the President's assistant and when her mother was absent, Anna was the White House hostess. Notable guests have also stayed here, including Winston Churchill, who visited both before and after World War II.
|The Queen's Bedroom in 1960. Robert Knudsen. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Public Domain.|
|Another view of the Queen's Bedroom, 1960. Robert Knudsen. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Public Domain.|
John and Jacqueline Kennedy stayed in the Queen's Suite at the beginning of his administration while the master suite was being redecorated. When they moved to the master suite, Jackie Kennedy added her own personal touches to the room, updating the curtains, bed hangings, upholstery, and carpeting.
|The Queen's Bedroom during the Kennedy Administration, 1963. Robert Knudsen. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Public Domain.|
In 1951, Queen Elizabeth II presented the White House with a beautiful gift when she was still Princess: a late 17th century trumeau (a mirror and a flower painting framed together.). It now hangs above the mantel and is a truly striking piece that complements the room beautifully. (To see a copyrighted photo of Princess Elizabeth presenting it to President Truman, click here. To view the trumeau itself, click here. I apologize for not being able to find a free-use photo of the trumeau.)
While the Queen's Bedroom remains decorated in warm, rosy shades, the adjoining sitting room is a stark contrast in color--but it is no less beautiful. Mrs. Kennedy had the walls covered with heavy cotton Toile de Jouy fabric in a bold blue shade, with white wainscot and trim. Black lacquered furniture from the early 1800's completes the room.
|Queen's Sitting Room, White House, 1963. Robert Knudsen. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Public Domain.|
While the Queen's Bedroom might be lesser known than the Lincoln Bedroom, it is still a prestigious and lovely chamber for guests of the White House, and one steeped in history.
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can learn more about her and her books, including A Mother For His Family, on her website, www.susannedietze.com.