Ladies and Gentlemen, Her Majesty.
May 5, 2007
Today’s Times has a nice story about the upcoming state dinner for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, Chancellor of Cambridge University and the University of Edinburgh, and divine being. The Bush’s have been notoriously stingy with their state dinners, and were recently jilted by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, so its nice to see that all is now well and good in the world of US foreign relations. The Times mentions that this state dinner was the hottest ticket in town, and that the uninvited knew it would be gauche to call the White House social office for tickets. In fact, the dinner is so exclusive that former President George Bush of Texas was not invited (although he will be at the British Embassy’s state dinner later in the week). Bush’s absence shouldn’t hurt our statesmanship too much; after all, the US was able to round-up Mr. Oscar de la Renta, Mr. Tom Brokaw, Mr. Merv Griffin, and Mr. Kelsey Grammer for its state dinner for Prince Charles and we can rest assured that the US will be able to corral a similar group of luminaries for the Queen.
This marks the first white tie dinner of the Bush Presidency. Clinton held three white tie dinners during his tenure (for Japan in 1994; New Year’s Eve, 1999; and for Spain in 2000) and Reagan held one, for the inauguration in 1981. The White House is clearly going all out for this one; in addition to hosting the Prince and Queen, the Monarchs will be attending today’s Kentucky Derby, proving once again that it is both the sport of Kings and Democrats.
Sadly, the menu for the state dinner does not yet appear to be posted (although it will be five courses), but my guess is President Bush will chose to invoke precedent and serve Hot Dogs, which President Roosevelt served to King George VI at his home in Hyde Park, during a state visit designed to bond America to Europe as the world headed to war.
For those interested, the State Dinner will be on CSPAN3 Monday at 7.