By Amy Woodyatt, NCS
Former US President Bill Clinton declined gives of tea with Queen Elizabeth and dinner at the British Prime Minister’s official nation home as a result of he wished to “be a tourist,” buy groceries and eat Indian food throughout his first official go to to the UK with Tony Blair as chief in 1997, in accordance to previously categorised paperwork.
Downing Street was “pulling out all the stops” to guarantee Clinton’s May 1997 go to — made between journeys to summits in The Hague and Paris — was a “public relations success,” in accordance to memos between Dominick Chilcott, assistant personal secretary to the overseas secretary, and John Holmes, Blair’s principal personal secretary.
The paperwork have been launched by the UK’s National Archives.
Although the President and his spouse, Hillary Clinton, have been supplied tea with Queen Elizabeth, they declined it in favor of different actions, a be aware from Blair’s personal secretary, Phillip Barton, reveals.
“The Americans said that the President and Mrs. Clinton were very grateful for HM The Queen’s invitation to tea at the Palace, but would wish to decline politely,” he stated in a May 21 briefing.
The paperwork element makes an attempt to affirm the ever-changing schedule for the presidential couple’s go to to the UK on May 29.
At the time of the go to, Blair had simply begun his 10-year tenure as UK Prime Minister, having been elected earlier that month.
When requested what he would love to do after his speech, the be aware stated that Clinton’s staff had “no clear idea” — however that the President “wanted to be a tourist” and wished to go to a backyard and retailers, and pattern some Indian food with the Prime Minister, Barton wrote.
“The Americans were not attracted to our suggestion of a dinner at Chequers,” the be aware added. Chequers is the UK Prime Minister’s nation retreat, based mostly in Buckinghamshire, about 30 miles northwest of London.
In the finish, the group dined at Le Pont de la Tour, spending £265 ($360) on a meal that included halibut, salmon, sole and rabbit, in accordance to receipts.
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