President Bush toasts with Queen Elizabeth II, center, duringastate dinner at the White House on Monday, May 7, 2007inWashington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)It was queens weather forQueenElizabeth II on Monday at the White House, where PresidentBushwelcomed her under brilliant skies with a colorful pageantofruffles and flourishes — and even a little joke.The band playedthenational anthems, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corpsinrevolutionary-era uniforms piped British Grenadiers, the 21gunssaluted, the troops marched, and 7,000 onlookers on the SouthLawncheered, clapped and waved little Union Jacks and Americanflagsfor the arrival ceremony, a White House tradition for headsofstate but especially fervent this time in honor of the sovereignofAmericas closest ally in the Iraq war.
In his welcoming remarks, Bush underlined that point.
Today our two nations are defending liberty against tyrannyandterror, he said. American and British forces are staying ontheoffense against the extremists and terrorists. … Your Majesty,Iappreciate your leadership during these times of dangeranddecision.A white-tie state dinner — Bushs first — for 134isMonday night, with entertainment by violin virtuoso ItzhakPerlman.For the state dinner, Mrs. Bush will be wearing anembroidered aquagown with a bolero by Oscar de la Renta. Thequeens attire has notbeen released but it likely wont be by afamous fashion designer(the queen has her own dressmakers). Of moreinterest, especiallyto scruffy reporters, is what jewels she willwear.
Bush is known to disdain fancy dress and staying up latebutrelented for the queen. We did sort of have to convince himalittle bit to opt for white-tie, Laura Bush said Monday ofherefforts along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to talkBushinto agreeing to the most formal dress code, especially favoredbythe British.
On Tuesday, the Bushes will go to the British Embassy to dinewiththe queen and the duke at another formal dinner.
The royal couple arrived in Washington on Sunday night,aftervisiting Jamestown, Va., to celebrate the 400th anniversary ofthefirst permanent English settlement in North America, andLouisvillefor the Kentucky Derby over the weekend.Vocabulary: