Originally Posted by loonytick
There’s long-standing custom in DC of high-ranking officials kindly agreeing to sign the programs of lower-ranking folks, especially if the event in question can count as that person’s first in some way. You can see it in the television coverage of the annual State of the Union address; as the President slowly makes his way out after the speech, new members of Congress gather at the aisle for handshakes and to give their program to the president to sign. I’ve heard that White House staffers often get SOTU programs signed every year. Those programs are treasured as private keepsakes. Coming from that custom, I can see why it would feel natural to Sanders to ask the prince to sign the program of what us likely the grandest state dinner she’s attended (and what she likely already knew would be her final state dinner).
That said, she should have been briefed that the customs are not the same in the UK.
There is a difference between asking your president or Supreme Court justice to sign something for keepsake than do it at a State event with a foreign dignitary.