James Forsyth James Forsyth

From black sheep of the family to president

Tonight isn’t the first time that the Queen and George W. Bush have broken bread together at the White House. But the odds are that the conversation tonight will be more stilted than it was the last time they did.

Rewind to 1991 and the preidency of George Bush senior:

“The Queen of England got two George Bushes for the price of one when she arrived at the White House last Tuesday. What she didn’t know was that the president’s eldest son, George Walker Bush, so unpredictable that the family never knows what he’ll say in polite society, was under strict orders from his parents not to address the queen. Somehow, though, he and the queen got to talking anyway. About boots, the new pair he was wearing, made especially for the occasion. Usually he has them printed with something like “Texas Rangers.” Was that on these boots? the queen wanted to know. “No, ma’am,” George replied. “God Save the Queen.” The queen thought that so jolly good that she further fueled their exchange with another question. Was he the black sheep in the family? she inquired. “I guess so,” he admitted. “All families have them,” observed the queen. “Who’s yours?” asked George. “Don’t answer that!” cut in Barbara Bush, appearing from out of nowhere.”

From The Washington Post, 21st May, 1991

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