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Bill Clinton Turned Down Tea With The Queen: Five Things We Learned From Recently Declassified Newspapers | UK News

Bill Clinton declined an invitation to have tea with the Queen because he “wanted to be a tourist” in London, according to recently released official documents.

The US President was visiting the UK in 1997 – four weeks later Tony Blair came to power – and said he wanted to go shopping and eat Indian food.

Previously classified documents show Mr. Clinton, Mr. Blair and their wives Hillary and Cherie ended up having dinner at a French restaurant in London Bridge – with beer and fine wine.

The Clintons and Blairs went to dinner instead
The Clintons and Blairs went to dinner instead

Memos between Whitehall associates show Mr Clinton was invited to Buckingham Palace for 5pm tea.

But a letter written by Downing Street Private Secretary Philip Barton said: “The Americans said the President and Mrs Clinton were very grateful for HM The Queen’s invitation to have tea at the palace, but would like to decline. politely.”

The restaurant bill accumulated by the Blairs and Clintons is also part of the series of files released by the National Archives at Kew, dating back to Mr. Blair’s early months in government.

They spent a total of £ 298.86 at Pont de La Tour – and the bill included £ 20 of wild salmon, £ 19.50 of grilled sole, £ 18 of halibut, a £ 2.95 Budvar beer and a bottle of Mas de Duamas 1995 wine priced at £ 34.75.

Tensions were high between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair's assistants
Tensions were high between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair’s assistants

Blair and Brown tensions

The latest installment of official documents from 1997 also shows that Mr Blair’s aides wanted Gordon brownthe spin doctor of ‘on his ear’ amid fears that unauthorized briefings could damage the new Labor government.

Records suggest officials struggled to deal with tensions between the two most dominant figures in the administration from their early days in office.

Peter Mandelson – one of Mr Blair’s ministers – has repeatedly complained about the actions of Charles Whelan, who served as Mr Brown’s press …

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This notice was published: 2021-07-20 11:50:00

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