Even for a Nobel Prize-winning leader of the free world, this had been one of the great nights of his life.
He had just been honoured with a state banquet given by Queen Elizabeth II.
It wasn’t the Midas-like display of George IV’s gold and silver tableware collection or the quality of the delicious Échézeaux Grand Cru 1990 Romanée-Conti which had made this such an exceptional occasion.
It was the rapport he had formed with a host who could talk with such authority about so many of his predecessors.
Obama had been enjoying himself so much that the Queen had eventually taken the Chancellor of the Exchequer to one side to ask if he might, very discreetly, let the U.S. President know that it was bedtime.
Even for a Nobel Prize-winning leader of the free world, this had been one of the great nights of his life. Back in his suite at Buckingham Palace, Barack Obama simply wanted to savour the moment. He had just been honoured with a state banquet given by Queen Elizabeth II. Pictured: The Queen and President Obama in 2011
‘I just said: “Yes, Ma’am”,’ George Osborne recalls. ‘I could see Obama with a drink in hand, and I was thinking: What do I do? I couldn’t just interrupt and say: “Oh, the Queen wants you to go to bed”.’
Fortunately, he was saved by the Queen’s private secretary, who gently nudged proceedings to a close.
Still buzzing, the…