May 7, 2007
Showing up hours early for a dinner party would normally be frowned upon, but President Bush and first lady Laura were all smiles when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip arrived at the White House Monday morning.
Dinner begins Monday night sharply at 8:10 p.m. Events like this state dinner are scheduled to the moment. Preparation began months ago to make sure every dish is to the royals liking.
Those lucky enough to land on the guest list can expect well-planned toasts, plenty of pictures, and according to the Washington social experts, maybe even a little dancing.
"The President is a very affable host and I think if he has the sense
that if the Queen would like to dance, I imagine that he would ask her," said Lea Berman, former White House Social Secretary.
While President Bush has hosted five state dinners in his six years in
office, Monday night will be the first in white tie and that means ball gowns and tiaras for the ladies.
It's a kind of high-brow payback for a similar dinner at Buckingham Palace back in 2003.
The royals won't be at the White House all day. They'll stop by the British ambassador's home for an afternoon garden party and then return for a dinner fit for a queen.