WASHINGTON — Are you invited? That’s the question everyone here is wondering about the upcoming visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip May 6 to 8. The stopover is part of the Queen’s five-day U.S. jaunt to commemorate the quadricentennial of the founding of Jamestown, Va. After all, she attended the 350th anniversary in 1957. Included on the royal itinerary are trips to the Kentucky Derby (naturally), a visit to Richmond, Va., and two nights in Washington on a visit hosted by President George W. and Laura Bush.
One guest who knows she’s included in the Washington festivities is former first lady Nancy Reagan, who is making plans to fly in for a party at the British Embassy. Also expected on the Ambassador Sir David and Lady Catherine Manning’s party list is another former first lady, Sen. Hillary Clinton. But what’s the protocol for the other former first ladies? If you invite one, must all be included? “They should all be invited. Otherwise they’ll be hurt,” says former Kennedy administration White House social secretary and etiquette expert Leticia Baldridge. “Every single living first lady has known the Queen because she has been queen for so long. And every single one should be invited to something, whether it be breakfast, lunch, a tea or a dinner.”
As for where they’ll all stay, expect the Queen and Prince Philip to stay at Blair House, the President’s official guest house. And Reagan plans to bivouac in a hotel. But who will get dibs on the Queen’s Bedroom upstairs at the White House? Odds are George and Barbara Bush have the inside track on that one.