<p>While “very grateful for HM the Queen’s invitation,” the Clintons wished “to decline politely.”</p>

While “very grateful for HM the Queen’s invitation,” the Clintons wished “to decline politely.”

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton once declined an invitation to have tea with Queen Elizabeth II because he wanted to try Indian food like a true London tourist, recently declassified documents say.

According to The Guardian, the documents allege that the American politician was on his first official visit to the United Kingdom while Tony Blair was Prime Minister. Seeing as Downing Street wanted to “establish a good working relationship” between the newly instated Prime Minister and then U.S. President, they worked diligently to ensure to both politicians a good time. Both British and American officials also emphasized the importance of this trip ultimately painting “the president and the prime minister to the wider world as young, dynamic and serious leaders.”

However, the White House wasn’t quite keen on many of Britain’s suggestions. It began with Buckingham Palace contacting No 10, saying that “HM the Queen would be very pleased” to have the President and First Lady over for tea at 5pm, While “very grateful for HM the Queen’s invitation,” the Clintons wished “to decline politely,” according to notes from Blair’s private secretary, Philip Barton. The U.S. President and First Lady were similarly not “attracted to our suggestion of a dinner at Chequers.”

Per a Downing Street briefing note released by the National Archives, Clinton had different aspirations for his trip across the pond: Instead, the politician “said that he wants to be a tourist,” having explicitly “expressed an interest in trying Indian food.”

Later, the Foreign Office also offered a mid-day jam session for the politicians, “for the president (saxophone) and the prime minister (guitar) to play together briefly (with or without other musicians who might be at the lunch),” as well a “look in a pub”, because “the Americans like them.” Neither plan came to fruition.

The White House also “firmly” rejected No 10’s proposition to “stroll in Trafalgar Square” before a trip to a Sports Cafe where the politicians “could be shown how to play various sophisticated computer games by a group of children.” Apparently, these activities were “not serious enough” for the U.S. President.

Whatever the case, we hope the Indian food met Bill Clinton’s expectations.

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