Written By: Lily Rothman

In 1957, when Queen Elizabeth II was about five years into her reign, she paid a visit to North America, complete with all the pomp and circumstance one might expect of a royal tour. She met with President Eisenhower and Vice-President Nixon; visited her subjects in Canada, where she opened a session of the country’s parliament; visited Jamestown, Va., site of the first permanent British settlement in America; and took in her very first American college football game, in which Maryland beat North Carolina. (Her take: “My, it’s exciting!”)

The visit wasn’t all parties. Coming in the midst of the Cold War, the alliance between the U.S. and Britain was as crucial as ever. As LIFE noted, the Queen’s visit coincided with another by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, who was in Washington for “urgent policy talks” about Soviet accusations that the U.S. and Turkey were planning to attack Russian-armed Syria.

More than 60 years later, that alliance remains strong and so does the urge to celebrate.

Liz Ronk edited this gallery for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their 1957 North America tour.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth II, 1957

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth at College Park’s Byrd Stadium during her 1957 North American tour.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth at College Park’s Byrd Stadium during her 1957 North American tour.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Original caption: “Close-up is provided as teams, Maryland, right, line up. Queen (center) is almost on scrimmage line.”

Hank Walker The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Original caption: “Absorbed spectator, the Queen turns to question [University of Maryland President] Elkins. At right is Governor McKeldin.”

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Original caption: “Accompanied by the President and met at the door by Mrs. Eisenhower, Elizabeth and Philip arrive at the White House for their four-day-stay.”

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth with Richard Nixon during her North American tour, 1957.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth II (L), Vice President Richard M. Nixon (C), and Prince Philip (2R), during a luncheon for the Queen during her North American tour in 1957.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth, Richard Nixon, Mrs. Eisenhower, and Prince Philip in Washington D.C. during the Queen’s North American tour in 1957.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth with U.K. Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd during her North American tour in 1957.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth visiting Jamestown, Va. Replica of colonists’ ship “Susan Constant” in the background.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Original caption: “With `Parson,’ Queen visits James Fort Church replica.”

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Original caption: ” Decorated girl scout, Jennifer Ankers, gets notice. `You have a lot of medals,’ said Philip. `Six,’ she replied. In back is Governor Thomas Stanley.”

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Original caption: “Mock prisoners, locked in the stocks for her edification, amuse the Queen. `Does it hurt?’ she asked, while Philip inquired, `Do they throw rotten eggs at you?’ The prisoners replied, `No.'”

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during their North American tour in 1957.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and [Governor General of Canada] Vincent Massey during the Queen’s North American tour in 1957.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their visit to Williamsburg, 1957.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth during her North American tour, 1957.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II's 1957 North America tour.

Queen Elizabeth during her North American tour, 1957.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

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