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  #301  
Old 05-26-2011, 03:02 PM
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I am most perplexed at Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson attending both of the dinners. Why?
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  #302  
Old 05-26-2011, 04:16 PM
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I was more perplexed by Kevin spacey attending. Wherever Obama is celebrities are there.
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  #303  
Old 05-26-2011, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CrownPrincess5 View Post
I was more perplexed by Kevin spacey attending. Wherever Obama is celebrities are there.
Kevin Spacey is the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London and also has an honorary CBE, so somehow I'm not really surprised that he was there (at least not as much as some of the others).
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  #304  
Old 05-26-2011, 04:23 PM
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Well it could be that they are Obama supporters and Kevin Spacey is well established stage actor. Is he in London doing a play?

ETA: I see Isabella answered the question than that makes sense.

Really, I am surprised that anyone is surprised. Whenever there is a state dinner at the White House, you will find people who are representatives of that particular country. For example, if the President of Mexico is present, than influential and well known Mexican American's are invited. This includes actors (which I guess fits the celebrity category), people in the arts, government officials, etc. Same thing with the President of China, Canada, etc.
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  #305  
Old 05-26-2011, 04:36 PM
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I am surprised cause there were a lot more important celebs (Obamas supporters) in England at the time...choosing Spacey seems far out to me regardless of his being an artistic director.
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  #306  
Old 05-26-2011, 07:45 PM
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Only two state dinners?

I've read this week that this is only the second state dinner honoring an American President. I was quite surprised, since I know I recall seeing pictures of many other Presidents wearing white tie, posing with the Queen and DoE. Apparently, it takes more that white tie a State Dinner (and State Visit) to make. Does anyone know what the differences are? ( If Diarist reads this, perhaps she has some insight.) Thank you.

Or perhaps this is only the second State Visit by a POTUS, and the dinners are something else altogether.
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  #307  
Old 05-26-2011, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
I, assume, that the band had a leader with a functioning brain. Two seconds is not a lifetime. No, it is not a postscript, but some people speak at their timetable, not some nonsensical pace. An anthem at a dinner. How gauche!!!
This is Buckingham Palace and a formal State Dinner hosted by The Queen. Not the White House correspondents dinner. The bottom line is that President Obama was ill prepared in protocol which is rather inexcusable. He has experts who should be proactive in ensuring that the President is well informed of Royal protocol in all aspects of his visit, and most importantly for this State Dinner. Instead of addressing the ensemble with "Your majesty, your royal highness, Prime Minister and distinguished guests", he launched into his speech without the polite introduction and addressed the Queen directly using "you" instead of Your Majesty. The end of the speech.....I don't know what else to say. Quite awkward.

I am not blaming the President for these breeches in protocol unless he was advised and chose to disregard the advise because he didn't think it was important. I do feel that when our President goes abroad for formal state visits he needs to be on top of his game by making sure he has the best advisers. Heck, even Paul Burrell would have been able to prepare him better than his staff.
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  #308  
Old 05-27-2011, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladongas
I've read this week that this is only the second state dinner honoring an American President. I was quite surprised, since I know I recall seeing pictures of many other Presidents wearing white tie, posing with the Queen and DoE. Apparently, it takes more that white tie a State Dinner (and State Visit) to make. Does anyone know what the differences are? ( If Diarist reads this, perhaps she has some insight.) Thank you.

Or perhaps this is only the second State Visit by a POTUS, and the dinners are something else altogether.
Maybe those were state visits by the Queen to the US?
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  #309  
Old 05-27-2011, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Moonmaiden23 View Post
Okay...I think we need to sack the entire Office of Protocol. Seriously...what the %^$# are those folks getting paid for??

SACK ALL OF THEM AND HIRE ME!!
I didn't suggest sacking them in my prior post (#209) but I did say to blame them for his faux pas :)
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  #310  
Old 05-27-2011, 10:56 AM
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Like Zonk said, whenever they have a state dinner, they always invite a few celebs/non-political circle types with ties to both countries (personal or business) to glamorize an otherwise very stiff, protocol-filled event. When the Obamas hosted the a state dinner for the Chinese president at the White House, guests included YoYo Ma, Vera Wang and Jackie Chan.
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  #311  
Old 05-27-2011, 02:29 PM
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Good idea, Esmerelda, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esmerelda View Post
Maybe those were state visits by the Queen to the US?
When I Google Imaged President Queen State Dinner, I got a million pix of elegantly dressed Queens and First Ladies, and could not sort through them all to figure it out. I did note that HM very frequently wears white to occasions like this, regardless of the location. And, I will submit the following picture of what could be HM's least attractive gown:
Queen Elizabeth jokes at State Dinner - Presidential State Dinners - UPI.com

(But it was the 80's, after all.)

P.S. I happened to be in California during this particular visit, and I caught a glimpse of the Britannia slowly and sadly sailing up the coast in the torrential rains which were occurring.

P.S.2 Here's a link to the toast of President Reagan. He seems to have used the familiar "you" several times when referring to HM, so perhaps the protocol of non-subjects in speaking to and about the Queen is different from that of her subjects.
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/in...#axzz1NZyNJbpb
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  #312  
Old 05-27-2011, 02:48 PM
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So I just watched the videos of the toasts for the Indian and South African State Dinners. In both the toasts there were a few words after "a toast to the Queen" before the band started playing. Please watch the clips - they are on the British Monarchy's Youtube channel. I don't see how what Obama was trying to do was so different than either of those speeches - it appears the band started too early before he was done. It does seem he asked everyone to rise early which may be what set the band off but that doesn't seem like the horrendous break in protocol some others were trying to make this whole thing out to be.
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  #313  
Old 05-27-2011, 05:12 PM
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President Reagan went on a visit to the UK in 1982 that was a state visit in all but name. There was even a banquet at Windsor Castle.
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  #314  
Old 05-27-2011, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jneugeba View Post
So I just watched the videos of the toasts for the Indian and South African State Dinners. In both the toasts there were a few words after "a toast to the Queen" before the band started playing. Please watch the clips - they are on the British Monarchy's Youtube channel. I don't see how what Obama was trying to do was so different than either of those speeches - it appears the band started too early before he was done. It does seem he asked everyone to rise early which may be what set the band off but that doesn't seem like the horrendous break in protocol some others were trying to make this whole thing out to be.

I watched it for the very first time last night on TV and I completely agree...it was definitely a little awkward but nothing like the way some poster were reporting it here. (I am referring to the Prez still talking when the band started up)

As for the manner in which the President began his speech and addressed his hosts...ICAM with the poster who said THAT is inexcusable.

It makes him look ill prepared at best, and impolite at worst.

The Chief of Protocol is asleep at the wheel when it comes to visits with foreign Royalty.
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  #315  
Old 05-27-2011, 06:32 PM
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Kate looked so elegant in her dress - not over-the-top. I feel she will make a wonderful Queen - she was born to be Royal !
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  #316  
Old 05-27-2011, 08:09 PM
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Google is my friend! But in this article, even BP sounds a little tentative.

http://articles.cnn.com/2003-11-14/world/statevisit.britain_1_buckingham-palace-official-visit-queen-elizabeth-ii?_s=PM:WORLD


So what's the difference between a State Visit and other official visits?"That's quite a difficult question," a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said."There is no clear cut definition," the spokeswoman said. "I guess we would define it as banqueting with the queen.
"I know lots of presidents have done that in the past, but there's usually a carriage procession, a lot more ceremonial, usually the queen greeting the guest, a bit like when Russia's President Putin was here, there was a procession in carriages. And staying at a royal residence."
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  #317  
Old 05-30-2011, 12:06 PM
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I have been busy for a few days, but have now had the opportunity to read through this thread in its entirety, so may I try to help with a few background observations to some of people's queries?

It was good to see William and Catherine; I am sure BP felt that they should attend at one event to mark the fact that they will be making a visit to the United States themselves in just a few weeks' time. I take the fact that they did not attend at the State Banquet to be consistent with the fact that W has a 'day job' and is not yet a 'fully performing royal'.

The guestlist at the State Banquet reflects [fortunately!!] what I said in my earlier post [#5] in this thread. Eagle eyed form members will note that as it was a white tie event, tiaras were wore. At the 'return match', i.e. President Obama's banquet, the event was what we british call 'black tie'; tiaras are not worn for this.

The Duchess of Cornwall was made a member of the Royal family Order by the queen a few years ago; there was no announcement - you become aware that the Queen has bestowed the honour only when it is noticed by 'eagle-eyed royal-watchers'.

The official welcome no longer takes place at 'Horseguards' [as the 'parade area' is formally known] because of the need to minimise disruption. The practice was discontinued some years ago because of the location of Horsegaurds, which makes it necessary to close off the surrounding roads for some hours before and afterwards; this was not originally because of security concerns but because of the horse-drawn carriages and processions etc. The roads had to be cleaned both before [to get rid of any debris that might impede the carriages, injury etc] and afterwards [i.e. for cleansing and removal of what I will politely call 'horse evidence'!] This all takes time; at the pre-procession cleansing, you cannot then let in the traffic again - otherwise you would have to start all over again, in case someone dropped a sharp object or a car leaked gas etc etc! I used to work in the area, 'Victoria' as is is known [where many of the Government Depts are situated] and the need to cordon off the roads meant that it was very difficult for the dozens of tourists and workers in the area [it was almost impossible for tourists to move without hindrance from nearby Victoria Station because of all the 'activity' before and after, as well as during the State Visit; workers such as myself could not get around to the bank or post office etc in the lunch hour]. The decision was therefore taken to move state welcomes either to Windsor or to BP to avoid too much disruption. Of course, when London went onto high security alert [which we still are on....] it was also convenient to hold welcomes in this way, but it was not the original reason.

President Obama's bow; a nice touch. BP issued guidelines some years ago that it was NO longer necessary to bow or curtesy when you meet the Queen, but that HM regards it as a nice a touch. Traditionally, American Citizens did not have to curtesy anyway [unless formally presented at Court in the years up to and including the 1950's] as the American way of showing respect is to acknowledge the President as 'Mr President'. When I started work I was given a thorough grounding in protocol [which I have, I regret to say, almost forgotten!!], but I do remember our instructor saying that there was no difference in the bow/curtsey or the use of 'Mr President' as it was just that in one case 'your knee did the work and in the other case your tongue did the work!'

The apparent faux pas when the band and the President 'came on at the same time' was due to the fact that normally in State Visits, the band is given a copy of the speech of the head of state, so that they can follow this and work out when the speech has finished. In the case of this State Visit, the US Officials accompanying the President said that they did not want to give out a copy of the Speech beforehand so that it could remain 'secret' until the President spoke. The upside of this is that there is no chance of a copy of the speech being disclosed before the President speaks; the downside of course is that these little troubles arise. But is is just this - little troubles. Overall, what counts is goodwill, and I think there was plenty of this during this visit.

Security: I hope that forum members here who were a little upset over the fact that Mrs Obama did not attend the wedding of William and Catherine will now accept that there was no snub intended. I did post previously that although it was common knowledge that the wedding was meant to be a 'family affair', Mrs Obama had let it be known to the foreign office that she would have liked to attend. I also posted previously that I know that the Queen feels warmth towards the Obama family; in 2009, I was privy in my work to the fact that Mrs Obama and her two daughters wanted to drop in on the Queen after their trip to Paris - and that this wish was - quite amazingly - granted. Mrs Obama and the Queen actually embraced during this meeting [a step up from Mrs Obama putting a guiding arm round to guide HM, as had been the case previously]. The Queen also treated Mrs Obama's two daughters to a carriage ride on that occasion. This is evidence of quite a warmth between the two women. I also posted at the time of the wedding that I was quite sure that Security concerns were the made reason that a wedding invitation was not forthcoming, and I think that this was very much shown by the State Visit; the President and Mrs Obama required a quite unprecedented level of Security -substantially more police were required - literally thousands more - than is usually the case. In addition, lots of windows at BP actually had to be removed and replaced with more secure ones during the Presidential visit; none of this would have been practical if Mrs Obama had been a wedding guest - with other Crowned heads to guard, and with all the guest suites at BP being used for the wedding, it would have proved physially impossible to host Mrs Obama.

Finally - American forum members particuarly take comfort - little slips, the odd faux pas etc - don't matter much overall, if at all. Whilst it is nice if everything works out on a State Visit, in practice it can never really do so - don't forget that there is a reason why Trooping the Colour is so perfect, that Beating Retreat is so perfect, that Royal Weddings are so perfect etc and that is because the participants rehearse and rehearse and rehearse and rehearse. Even if you are only attending the Palace to receive the OBE etc, you are first taken into an ante room where you rehearse everything; if you are a guest at a Garden Party and are selected to be presented to the Queen, a hour or so before you meet her, an equerry will appear and take you through the protocol involved etc etc. On a State Visit there is NO rehearsal for the President and his entourage - and that is why these little slip-ups occurr. And as I said - they don't matter! I was taught from the very first that you look to the intent, not the effect. And I think that this is good advice.

I hope some of what I have said above helps people with some of their queries.

Thanks for bearing with me so far,

Alex.
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  #318  
Old 05-30-2011, 06:27 PM
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Thank you for that very interesting behind-the-scenes insight. My favourite part was the tour of the Royal Collection. I've been looking for a raw video without voiceover so I could hear what they were saying and get a better idea of what they were looking at.
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  #319  
Old 05-30-2011, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Diarist View Post
The official welcome no longer takes place at 'Horseguards' [as the 'parade area' is formally known] because of the need to minimise disruption. The practice was discontinued some years ago because of the location of Horsegaurds, which makes it necessary to close off the surrounding roads for some hours before and afterwards; this was not originally because of security concerns but because of the horse-drawn carriages and processions etc.
Are you sure it was discontinued? The President of South Africa was welcomed there just last March. They did stop the arrival ceremonies at Victoria Station (and the part of the procession that went down Victoria Street and Whitehall) a few years ago, though, for the reasons you give.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ladongas View Post
When I Google Imaged President Queen State Dinner, I got a million pix of elegantly dressed Queens and First Ladies, and could not sort through them all to figure it out. I did note that HM very frequently wears white to occasions like this, regardless of the location. And, I will submit the following picture of what could be HM's least attractive gown:
Queen Elizabeth jokes at State Dinner - Presidential State Dinners - UPI.com

(But it was the 80's, after all.)

P.S. I happened to be in California during this particular visit, and I caught a glimpse of the Britannia slowly and sadly sailing up the coast in the torrential rains which were occurring.

P.S.2 Here's a link to the toast of President Reagan. He seems to have used the familiar "you" several times when referring to HM, so perhaps the protocol of non-subjects in speaking to and about the Queen is different from that of her subjects.
Ronald Reagan: Toasts of the President and Queen Elizabeth II at a Dinner Honoring the President at Windsor Castle in England
No, the protocol is the same. However, the Reagans and HM/DoE were/are very close personal friends.
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