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Ultimate fact sheet: Everything to know about the State Visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

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Fact Sheet from the White House on the State Visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the First Lady

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release May 4, 2007

Fact Sheet: The State Visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush are honored to host Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Monday, May 7, 2007.

The United States has no closer ally and friend than Great Britain. Our nations share an exceptionally close relationship based on deep historical and cultural ties, a common language, shared values and interests, and a commitment to defend freedom around the world.

This visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is an occasion to celebrate these enduring bonds.

President Bush and the First Lady visited England in November 2003 and welcome the opportunity to return that hospitality, which, as the Queen noted at that time, has been extended to seven of the President's predecessors.

the Arrival Ceremony

The Arrival Ceremony for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will take place on May 7, 2007 on the South Lawn of the White House.

Approximately 7,000 guests will attend the Arrival Ceremony, including the American and British delegations, British Embassy staff, State Dinner guests, Members of Congress, Cabinet Members, White House staff and their guests, State Department staff, and students.

The White House Arrival Ceremony includes the following:

The motorcade arrives carrying Her Majesty and His Royal Highness;
Her Majesty and His Royal Highness are greeted by the President and Mrs. Bush on the south side of the driveway outside the Diplomatic Room entrance;
Her Majesty and His Royal Highness greet the United States Welcoming Committee;
The President and Her Majesty proceed to the reviewing platform;
The ceremony begins with the National Anthem of Great Britain (simultaneous 21 gun salute) and then the National Anthem of the United States;
The President and Her Majesty review the Troops on the lawn;
The President and Her Majesty observe the musical troop in review performed by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps;
President Bush and Her Majesty make remarks;
The President and Her Majesty face the Troops and the Commander of the Troops indicates that the ceremony has concluded;
The President Bush, Her Majesty, and His Royal Highness proceed to the Blue Room Balcony for a photo opportunity.

Guests of the state dinner

The dinner will take place in the State Dining Room on the State Floor of the White House, following a reception in the East Room on the State Floor. One hundred thirty-four guests will be seated in the State Dining Room. A diverse representation of guests from across the country will attend the State Dinner. An American and a British delegation will represent their respective countries at the State Dinner. The Vice President and Mrs. Cheney, Secretary Rice, Secretary and Mrs. Gates, and General and Mrs. Pace are among the American delegation.

A member of the Bush Administration will serve as the table host at each of the thirteen tables. Members of the British delegation will be seated throughout the State Dining Room. Traditionally, couples are seated at different tables.

attire for THE State Dinner

In honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh the attire for the State Dinner is white tie. This is the first white tie event that the President and Mrs. Bush have hosted.

Other previous White House white tie events include:

Clinton Administration
June 1994, Japan State Dinner
December 1999, New Year’s Eve
February 2000, Spain State Dinner
Reagan Administration
1981 Inaugural Balls

preparation for the dinner

Mrs. Bush planned the dinner menu with her Social Secretary Amy Zantzinger and Executive Chef Cristeta "Cris" Comerford. Chef Comerford has worked in the White House kitchen since 1995 and was named Executive Chef in August 2005.

Mrs. Bush also coordinated with Social Secretary Amy Zantzinger and Bill Yosses, the White House Executive Pastry Chef, who is responsible for creating the dessert. Chef Yosses was named Executive Pastry Chef in January 2007.

The menu will include five courses: Appetizer/Soup, Fish, Meat, Salad and Dessert.

The room setting

The thirteen tables will be covered with cream damask tablecloths with beige strié. Each table will be appropriately appointed with historically significant pieces, including:

the Clinton China, which is ivory with a gold rim, and features a vignette of the White House;
the Vermeil Flatware;
the President’s House Crystal;
alternating candelabras and containers from the White House Vermeil Collection.

“Vermeil” is a French term for gilded silver. The White House Collection consists of 18th and 19th century English pieces received in 1957 as a bequest from Mrs. Margaret Thompson Biddle, heiress to a Montana mining fortune.

White House coordination with the Office of Protocol

As with every State visit, the White House coordinates with the Office of Protocol, which resides at the Department of State. Ray Martinez serves as the Acting Chief of Protocol of the United States. There is always tight coordination between the Office of Protocol and White House entities, including the First Lady's Office, the White House Military Office, and the National Security Counsel. The Office of Protocol also ensures specific information is provided in preparation for State visits hosted by the President and Mrs. Bush, such as the proper way to address foreign dignitaries and visitors, dietary restrictions, and overall logistical movements.

OFficial visits hosted by President and Mrs. Bush

The President and Mrs. Bush have hosted eight Official visits. An Official visit is defined as a visit from a Head of Government or a Prime Minister with a formal White House Arrival Ceremony. Previous visits hosted by the President and Mrs. Bush are:

Mexico – September 5, 2001
Republic of Poland – July 17, 2002
Republic of the Philippines – May 19, 2003
Republic of Kenya – October 6, 2003
People’s Republic of China – December 9, 2003
Republic of India – July 18, 2005
Australia – May 16, 2006
Japan – June 29, 2006

State Dinners hosted by President and Mrs. Bush

The State Dinner for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the fifth of the Bush Administration. Four of the eight official visits also included State Dinners:

Mexico State Dinner – September 5, 2001
Republic of Poland State Dinner – July 17, 2002
Republic of the Philippines State Dinner – May 19, 2003
Republic of Kenya State Dinner – October 6, 2003

the schedule of her majesty’s visit to THE UNITED STATES

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will visit the United States from May 3 – 8, 2007. The Queen and Duke will visit Virginia (Richmond, Williamsburg and Jamestown) on May 3 – 4, 2007, to mark the 400th Anniversary of the Jamestown settlement. Separately in Virginia, the Duke will visit Norfolk.
On May 5, 2007, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will visit Kentucky to attend the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby. The royal couple will then visit Washington, D.C. on May 7 and 8, 2007, where they will be hosted by President and Mrs. Bush, including at a State Dinner at the White House.
Her Majesty and Mrs. Bush will visit the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on May 8, 2007, as well.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will then host a Return Dinner for the President and Mrs. Bush at the Embassy of Britain on May 8, 2007.

previous MEETINGS BETWEEN HER MAJESTY AND THE PRESIDENT AND MRS. BUSH

This is Her Majesty’s first public visit to the United States in 16 years. Previous visits include the following:

President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Bush, State Dinner, May 14, 1991
President and Mrs. Reagan, California, March, 1983
President and Mrs. Ford, State Dinner, July, 1976
President and Mrs. Eisenhower, State Dinner, October, 1957

For this visit, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will stay at the President’s guest house, the Blair House.

In addition to their 2003 visit to England, the President and Mrs. Bush met Her Majesty and His Royal Highness in 1991, during the White House State Dinner hosted by then President George H. W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush.

Mrs. Bush’s chief of staff

Anita McBride serves as Assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush. As Chief of Staff, she oversees the First Lady’s policy, press, correspondence, scheduling and advance, speechwriting, and social offices. Her White House service spans two decades and three administrations (George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan).

the Social Secretary

The Social Secretary is Amy Zantzinger. Mrs. Zantzinger is Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary. She was named to this position in January 2007 and most recently owned an exclusive national interior design firm with design services for both residential and commercial clients throughout the United States. Previously, Mrs. Zantzinger worked with then President George H. W. Bush in the White House, as well as for the Bush family during both of George H. W. Bush’s campaigns.

the chief usher

Admiral Steve Rochon is the eighth Chief Usher of the White House. With 36 years in public service, Admiral Rochon has an extensive background in personnel management, strategic planning, and effective interagency coordination. The Chief Usher is responsible for all State visit activities that occur in the Executive Residence and on the grounds, beginning with the Arrival Ceremony and continuing through the State Dinner and After-Dinner Entertainment.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 5, 2007 5:57 PM.

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