Royal Visit to Tucson and Southern Arizona

In November of 1965 Princess Margaret, sister to HRH Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and her husband the Earl of Snowdon visited the United States to tour the country and to promote the release of Lord Snowdon’s book.

During the royal tour, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon traveled to Tucson for a stay at the Douglas family residence on the far east end of Fort Lowell Road. After attending a reception at the Arizona Inn, the couple headed to the Douglas ranch in Sonoita. Lewis Williams Douglas was Ambassador to Britain from 1947 to 1950 and during that time his daughter, Sharman, had developed a close friendship with Princess Margaret.

Their host, Lewis W. Douglas, was born in Bisbee, Arizona, the son of James Stuart Douglas and Josephine Leah Williams. The senior Douglas had made his fortune in the copper mining industry. While Lewis Douglas was educated with a view toward following his father’s footsteps, after serving in WWI and a brief stint teaching, he returned to Arizona where he entered politics, becoming a state legislator in 1923. He was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1926. Douglas served in government for many years, finally being appointed ambassador to the Court of St. James (Great Britain) by President Truman in 1947.

After their stay in Southern Arizona, the royal couple traveled to Washington D.C. where they attended a dinner at the White House in their honor. The dinner, not originally on the couple’s itinerary, had been arranged during their tour and was deemed a great success.

A fictionalized account of the visit to Arizona and the dinner at the White House was featured in season 3 of The Crown, a series on Netflix about the royal family.


Wiley, Rick. Photos: Princess Margaret's Tucson visit in 1965. November 20, 2019 |

Lewis Williams Douglas. (1994). In Dictionary of American Biography. New Your, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved from Gale in Context: Biography

Chang, Rachel. Princess Margaret: What Really Happened on Her 1965 Tour of the United States. November 19, 2019 |

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