Her Majesty And The President

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 114 months ago
Her Majesty And The President

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Image by Scott Ableman
The Queen and Fidel Castro have many things in common, among them decades-long unelected rule over their native islands. Castro used to boast about the number of US presidents he outlasted (eight) but the Queen easily trumps that, as next month she'll meet her 11th POTUS when he visits London.

President Barack Obama will be in town for the G20 meeting of leading industrial countries, and Liz is considering granting him an audience. An awkward move diplomatically, as Mr. Obama is not in town on an official visit, but the Queen is ready to bend protocol in a move that will go down well in the USA, where the quaint notion of having an unelected, hereditary monarch as head of state is still popular. Plans are being sketched in for a meeting on April 1st, a day before the conference begins.

Should she meet President Obama, the Queen will have met more than a quarter of the 43 people ever to hold the office, a remarkable figure and almost certainly a record. The only president who she failed to glad-hand was Lyndon B. Johnson during his five-year 1960s administration. She has, however, personally met every other president from Truman to Dubya, greeting every one with her legendary, disarming ice-breaker: "And what do you do?"

Last Updated 06 March 2009