Recently released declassified documents by the United Kingdom have revealed how former US president Bill Clinton, opted to try out Indian food instead of having tea with Queen Elizabeth when he was on an official state visit in 1997. According to the recently released documents, Clinton, who was visiting England and meeting newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair at the time, turned down the offer of having tea with the British monarch because he wanted to be a tourist and go shopping and eat Indian food, reported CNN.
The documents, released by the UK’s National Archives, mentioned that according to memos between the then assistant private secretary Dominick Chilcott to the foreign secretary, and John Holmes, Blair’s principal private secretary, the British government wanted to ensure that Clinton’s trio was a “public relations success.”
According to sources, Barton’s memos also mentioned that when Clinton’s team was asked what the US president would like to do after his speech, his team had “no clear idea” but stated that the President “wanted to be a tourist” and visit a garden and shops, and try some Indian food with the Prime Minister.
The UK officials had suggested Clinton’s team to dine at British Prime Minister’s country retreat Chequers, based in Buckinghamshire, about 30 miles northwest of London. However, Barton’s memo released in the declassified documents mentioned that the Americans were not attracted to their suggestion. At the end Clinton did not seem to have the opportunity to try out Indian cuisine and the group dined at Le Pont de la Tour eating halibut, salmon, sole and rabbit, according to receipts. The cost of the total meal was £265 ($360),mentioned the report.
Queen Elizabeth had offered Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to have tea with her, however, the American state leader had other plans, as revealed in the documents. The couple had “politely declined” the offer of royal tea for Clinton’s wish to explore England like a tourist.