Oh dear, where to start?
Let’s just say that if Lady M came to save the Brit’s kids from fat behinds, she might better have stayed home:
Butt she shared her own inspirational story with a group of disadvantaged girls from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Secondary School in North London. To make the most of the photo op, she had them meet her at Christ Church College at Oxford. University.
(ED: a bit of a sentimental journey for your cub reporter, who once attended briefly to augment her English language pack. The Buttery is still there!)
And the girls were very impressed:
If by nothing else, then by the McQueen blouson and bondage belt system which would look quite nice with the Muslim head scarves.
Butt of course the biggest news event of the day was Big Guy’s read at the British parliament, where in keeping with British tradition he kept it low key.
While brushing up on his comedy routine:
I have known few greater honors than the opportunity to address the Mother of Parliaments at Westminster Hall. I am told that the last three speakers here have been the Pope, Her Majesty the Queen, and Nelson Mandela -- which is either a very high bar or the beginning of a very funny joke.
I’m going with joke. He also used the occasion to practice his stump speech, talking about the economy, nuclear proliferation, and the importance of education. Finally, in hopes of getting him to stop, Parliament gave him a standing O. That seemed to do the trick.
And while the supportive press back home praised his read for its statesmanlike themes and tones, the Brits were not quite as impressed:
The presidential text sounded as if it had been worked on so hard and conscientiously by a vast team of helpers that it had lost all savour, and been reduced to a series of orotund banalities, of the sort which can be heard at every tedious Anglo-American conference: “Profound challenges stretch out before us…the time for our leadership is now…Our alliance will remain indispensable.”
(For more on Big Guy’s read, Granny Jan is all over it)
Butt the real point of yesterday was the dress that Lady M’s handlers selected for the reciprocal dinner for the Queen at the American Embassy. Since we wore a British designer for the Queen’s dinner, we wore American for the other Colonialist’s dinner:
And a lovely dress it was: black satin bodice with black crepe skirt, accented with a bit of bling. And it fit! Ralph Lauren insisted on that before he agreed to give it to the Big White dresser.
Either Big Guy and Lady M were surprised to see the Queen arriving for dinner in her stodgy old Bentley,
or they just had their doobie faces on. Which, I better remind them, doesn’t refract well with evening wear.
If it was the former, they may change their attitude when they find out that the bespoke mobile cost $14 million when built in 2002:
It also runs on bio-fuels. And it had no problem navigating the speed bump at the American Embassy!
And if it was the later, well, maybe it explains the pre-dinner shenanigans the night before too:
inspired by Annie Laurie’s talented friend’s poster
A few other details on the dinner: in addition to the Queen, the guests included J.K Rowling and Doris Kearns Goodwin. Both are lobbying for the honor of writing the official Obama history should this reign ever come to an end. I know most observers think that J.K. Rolling’s superb fantasy writing gives her the advantage, butt I’d give the odds to DKG. Why? Because there are libraries full of books written about truly great past Presidents for her to “glean paragraphs from.” On the other hand, now that I see her up close, I’m not sure the reign is likely to end in her lifetime.
Aside from one photo in front of an oddly misplaced floral arrangement, I was rather pleased with the way the evening’s optics turned out.
The quintessential American menu served to the Queen and our 15 guests included Lady M’s favorite lobster ravioli, filet of aged Highlands beef and classic pecan pie with brandy ice cream for dessert.
And for the after dinner munchies: brownies, Cheetos and Dom.
The black helicopters were there only for special effect. No truth to the rumor they were making a special, uh, delivery.