President George W. Bush, no
stranger to the occasional verbal
misstep , nearly
placed Queen Elizabeth II in the 18th century on Monday in welcoming her
to the White House on a state visit.
Britain's queen and Prince Philip were treated to a formal arrival
ceremony on the White House South Lawn, complete with a marching
Both Bush and the queen addressed the crowd as the royal couple
approached the end of a six-day U.S. visit that included ceremonies
marking the 400th anniversary of the British settlement in Jamestown,
Virginia, and the Kentucky Derby.
Bush noted the queen's long history of dealing with successive American
governments, just barely stopping himself before dating her to 1776.
"The American people are proud to welcome your majesty back to the
United States, a nation you've come to know very well. After all you've
dined with 10 U.S. presidents. You've helped our nation celebrate its
bicentennial in 17 -- in 1976," Bush said.
Bush looked at the queen sheepishly . She peered back at him from
beneath her black and white hat.
"She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child," Bush said
as the crowd burst into laughter.
Taking the podium, the queen quickly swung into her prepared speech,
hailing the closeness of U.S.-British relations.
"It is the moment to take stock of our present friendship, rightly
taking pleasure from its strengths while never taking these for granted,"
she said. "And it is the time to look forward, jointly renewing our
commitment to a more prosperous, safer and freer world."
White House spokesman Tony Snow made light of the incident.
"I don't know that a lot of people joke with the queen but the
president did and it worked out just fine," he said.