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"Our two nations hold fundamental values in common. We honor our traditions and our shared history. We recognize that the strongest societies respect the rights and dignity of the individual. We understand and accept the burdens of global leadership. And we have built our special relationship on the surest foundations -- our deep and abiding love of liberty."
-- President George W. Bush
May 7, 2007
President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush are honored to host Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 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 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 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:
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 the 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:
Preparation for the Dinner
Mrs. Bush planned the dinner menu with her Social Secretary Amy Zantzinger and Executive Chef Cristeta "Cris" Comerford to prepare the dinner menu. 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 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 table settings will be appropriately appointed with historically significant pieces, including:
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 Council. 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 during the Administration. An official visits includes 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:
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:
The Schedule of the Her Majesty's Visit to America
Previous Visits to United States
This is Her Majesty's first visit to the United States in 16 years. Previous visits include the following:
For this visit, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh will stay at the President's guest house, the Blair House.
In addition to the 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 the 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, Zantzinger worked with then President George H. W. Bush in the White House as well as for the Bush family for 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 activities that occur in the Executive Residence and on the grounds, including the Arrival Ceremony and the set up of stages and continues through the evening for the Dinner.