[ 2007-05-08 09:33 ]
|President Bush toasts with Queen Elizabeth II, left, during a State
Dinner at the White House on Monday, May 7, 2007 in Washington. (AP
It was queen's weather for
Queen Elizabeth II on Monday at the White House, where President Bush welcomed
her under brilliant skies with a colorful pageant of ruffles and flourishes —
and even a little joke.
The band played the national anthems, the Old
Guard Fife and Drum Corps in revolutionary-era uniforms piped British
Grenadiers, the 21 guns saluted, the troops marched, and 7,000 onlookers on the
South Lawn cheered, clapped and waved little Union
Jacks and American flags for the arrival ceremony, a White House
tradition for heads of state but especially fervent this time in honor of the
sovereign of America's closest ally in the Iraq war.
In his welcoming remarks, Bush underlined that point.
"Today our two nations are defending liberty against tyranny and terror," he
said. "American and British forces are staying on the offense against the
extremists and terrorists. … Your Majesty, I appreciate your leadership during
these times of danger and decision."
A white-tie state dinner — Bush's first — for 134 is Monday
night, with entertainment by violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. For the
state dinner, Mrs. Bush will be
wearing an embroidered aqua gown with a bolero by Oscar de la Renta. The queen's
attire has not been released but it likely won't be by a famous fashion designer
(the queen has her own dressmakers). Of more interest, especially to scruffy
reporters, is what jewels she will wear.
Bush is known to disdain fancy
dress and staying up late but relented for the queen. "We did
sort of have to convince him a little bit" to opt for white-tie, Laura Bush said
Monday of her efforts along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to talk
Bush into agreeing to the most formal dress code, especially favored by the
On Tuesday, the Bushes will go to the British Embassy to dine with the queen
and the duke at another formal dinner.
The royal couple arrived in Washington on Sunday night, after visiting
Jamestown, Va., to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first permanent
English settlement in North America, and Louisville for the Kentucky Derby over
the weekend. ）