NOVEMBER 15, 1948
LONDON, Sunday—Continued fog made it impossible to fly on Thursday afternoon, so we got off on the night train for London, where I was to attend the ceremonies at Westminster Abbey in honor of my husband.
We were met on Friday morning by Lady Reading and Sir Campbell Stuart, whisked through the customs and in no time at all were in Lady Reading's house in Smith Square. The old houses in this square were built in 1702 and are very charming. The church in the center of the square was bombed out and is nothing but a ruin, yet it is nevertheless a beautiful ruin.
After a cup of coffee we all went to the British Broadcasting Corporation, where I did two records for use here during my stay. We called at Buckingham Palace and at Marlboro House, where Queen Mary lives, and then drove to Grosvenor Square, where we got out so Buzz could have a good look at his grandfather's statue. I like it as much as ever, and there are even little bunches of flowers now at the base.
At quarter to four, Ambassador and Mrs. Douglas called for me to go to Westminster Abbey, just around the corner, for the unveiling of the tablet to my husband. This tablet was erected by the British Government. The American eagle stands watch on top of the tablet, and it is the first time in the Abbey's history that the head of a foreign state has been commemorated in this way. The ceremonies were simple, and the crowds that waited outside made it plain how kindly and warm was their own feeling on this occasion.
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It is interesting to be here just now when everyone seems to be waiting with such a sense of personal expectancy for the arrival of Princess Elizabeth's baby. Either a boy or a girl will be welcomed warmly by the nation as a whole, but if it should be a boy I have the feeling that there will be wild rejoicing. One cannot fail to realize what deep interest every individual takes when all speak of it as though it were a new arrival in their own intimate family circle.
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After the ceremonies were over, my grandson and I went to Mrs. Fellowes Gordon for a short visit, and then I enjoyed greatly an evening spent with several women whom Lady Reading had asked to dinner. All of them are carrying very important responsibilities, such as Miss Florence Hancock, who presides over the Trade Union Congress, Miss Cockayne, who is controller of the Nursing Service throughout Great Britain at the Ministry of Health, and Miss Mary Smeiton, who is in charge of labor control in Great Britain. Lady Cripps, who sat next to me, is as usual busy with so many things that it is hard to pick out the one which is her immediate interest. But she told me she is organizing the craftsmen of the country in order to find an outlet for their skills and to revive their interest in their own handicraft work, which it is felt is the basis of much good industrial work.
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Before going to sleep I read a little pamphlet sent me by Viscount Cecil, in which he presents an urgent proposal to the U.N. on how to preserve peace. In brief, he suggests that a treaty supplement the charter of the United Nations to assure control of any aggressor state. I am afraid this is still open to the objection, however, that unless the U.N. has an inspection force in the field and control of atomic energy, no treaty will be worth much.