9. Even Queen Elizabeth Stopped at Bloomingdale’s

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In 1976, on her second visit to New York City, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent an afternoon in Bloomingdale’s – likely a public relations stunt agreed to on both the department store side and the royalty side. The New York Times reported that “the Queen seemed slightly bewildered.”  The same Marvin Traub, who dreamt up the Le Train Bleu restaurant told The New York Post that Queen Elizabeth “didn’t choose Saks, and she didn’t choose Bergdorf — she chose Bloomingdale’s.” Another Bloomingdale’s employee told the New York Times, “we thought — and the Queen agreed — that it would be a very American experience for her to go amidst all the crowds and just pretend she might be shopping.”

Regardless, the Queen’s arrival to Bloomingdale’s meant a reversing of traffic on Lexington Avenue so that she could get out of her car on the right side. As The Bowery Boys describe, she then went “quietly” from floor to floor looking at the goods, admiring the British imports, was shown a fashion show, and met designers like Calvin Klein. The Prince meanwhile was shown Bloomingdale’s best sellers which included at that time a “Talking Calculator” and a pet rock.