When Bill Clinton chose Indian food over tea with the Queen
The note stated: "HM the Queen would be very pleased" to invite the Clintons to tea at 5 pm on their detour.
Former US president Bill Clinton opted to try out Indian food instead of having tea with Queen Elizabeth when he was on an official state visit in 1997, reported recently released declassified documents by the United Kingdom. The papers were made public by the National Archives recently.
As per the released documents, the briefing note stated that Downing Street was aware that this visit was crucial to establish a 'good relationship' between the then United Kingdom prime minister, Tony Blair and the US president. Many efforts were made for a brief one-day detour of the Clintons from the summits. The documents further said that Buckingham Palace had asked No 10 to extend an invite to the Clinton.
The note stated: "HM the Oueen would be very pleased" to invite the Clintons to tea at 5 pm on their detour. The briefing note, released by the archives, said that Downing Street was aware that the visit was crucial to “establishing a good working relationship” between the then United Kingdom prime minister, Tony Blair and the US president.
Though, the Clintons were "very grateful for HM the Queen's invitation" but they had different plans. As per Blair’s private secretary, Philip Barton, the Clintons wished “to decline politely” the invite as he "wanted to be a tourist" and "go shopping and eat Indian food".
Later, various receipts from the tour revealed that Blairs and Clintons dined at the French restaurant Le Pont de la Tour near Tower Bridge.