When Queen Elizabeth II stayed at the Four Seasons Austin Hotel

Its recent spiff-up makes it ready in case the makers of ‘The Crown’ come calling.


Do you think they’ll shoot an episode of “The Crown” in Austin? If so, they absolutely must use the Four Seasons Hotel Austin as a location.

Why so? Because Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II stayed there in 1991.

The staff lined up for her arrival and the women curtsied. Executive assistant Missy Kreisle remembers that when she checked in, the British equivalent of the Secret Service told her to move Elizabeth R to a different room for a better view of what would later be known as Lady Bird Lake. The great ladies met later for a formal dinner at the LBJ Presidential Library.

“Chef Elmar Prambs said he also remembers ‘cooking’ for the queen,” our Four Seasons correspondent Kerri Sholly shares. “In quotes, because all she wanted was a ham sandwich with the crust removed.”

As the venerable luxury hotel celebrates its 30th anniversary, we dig into its pictures and stories at the Austin Found blog. U.S. Presidents have included Presidents George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush, as well as Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, although the latter two did not spend the night.

The hotel has hosted royalty and heads of state from Saudi Arabia, Spain and Australia. Two who surely appreciated the full-size beds: Former British Prime Minister John Major (6 feet) and former Mexican President Vincente Fox (6 feet, 4 inches).

Sports legends Willie Mays, Pete Rose and Joe DiMaggio rested their weary frames here, as did Hollywood luminaries Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Rod Steiger, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall and Debbie Reynolds.

The media were represented by Walter Cronkite, Jim Lehrer, Mike Wallace and Rupert Murdoch — a more-frequent but extremely quiet visitor to our town during his recent courtship of Texas model and actress Jerry Hall.

Authors Gay Talese, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and David McCullough slept here, as did the Dalai Lama.

Which leaves one wondering: What’s an appropriate tip from His Holiness?

You can’t understand New Austin without delving into Old Austin. One digital avenue for that quest is Austin Found, a series of historical images of Austin and Texas published at statesman.com/austinfound. We’ll share samples here regularly.



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