The Obamas Go to Europe

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have landed in Great Britain for the G-20 Summit.

They will have tea tomorrow with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, for which they received etiquette lessons over the weekend.

The Obamas will also visit France and Germany. I think the British and European press will be the ones to follow this week.

Update: The Guardian has a section answering top questions about the G20, including why Secret Service agents wear sunglasses. Another factoid I didn't know: Air Force One has a gym.[More....]

Air Force One has a gym, electronic defence units and shielding to protect it from nuclear blasts. At Stansted, Obama will transfer to his helicopter Marine One, which has flares and anti-missile countermeasures to deal with heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles.

Obama will travel around London aboard Cadillac One, which does eight miles to the gallon and is described as "a panic room on wheels". It is equipped with shotguns, tear gas, a night-vision camera and bags of Obama's blood (group AB). Among the 500 or so US personnel who will travel with the president are nurses and surgeons. The lengths people go to to avoid NHS treatment.

Other staff include security agents and Obama's personal aide Reggie Love, who will hand the president his (ideally bomb-free) basketball each morning so he can shoot hoops.

There's also details on the planned protests.

First off will be four simultaneous marches, led by effigies of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, which will leave Moorgate, Liverpool Street, Cannon Street and London Bridge stations at 11am, converging on the Bank of England. Take your pick from war, climate chaos, financial crimes and land enclosures. Meanwhile, 1,500 people plan to bring tents and erect a climate camp in the City outside the European Climate Exchange at Bishopsgate at lunchtime. On top of that, the Stop the War coalition will march from the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square to Trafalgar Square in the afternoon. On Thursday, the official day of the summit, protests will centre on the Excel centre in Canning Town.
They also tell you what's in the goodie bags and what the whole shebang is costing.

And France's Nicolas Sarkozy is threatening a walkout.

For serious, comprehensive coverage, check out this BBC site.

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  • Display: Sort:
    What an article. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:20:39 PM EST
    (the etiquette link)  Still, I suppose it's somewhat reassuring that at least some element of the British press is as superficial as ours.  Will Michelle's "black", "West Hollywood", "celebrity" hair stylist accompany her, or won't he?  

    And, what rules of etiquette apply to a meeting with the Queen of England that do not apply to any other meeting between heads of state?

    Curtsy, never turn your back (none / 0) (#7)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:29:08 PM EST
    on the Queen...you back out of the room, tons of special royalty treatment is different than mortal leaders.

    But who painted her? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:31:06 PM EST

    :) ha (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:37:09 PM EST
    good one, andgarden :)

    Yes, a great one. (none / 0) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:18:23 PM EST
    I hope not. They are equals, both heads of (none / 0) (#10)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:31:17 PM EST

    She has a crown, he has AF1 (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:34:03 PM EST
    That about sums it up. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:37:00 PM EST
    At the inaugural parade, I loved the v-shaped, loud phalanx of DC motorcycle cops, with sidecars, leading the way down Penn. Ave.  I'll take that over white ponies and carriages any day.

    Not me (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sj on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:32:06 PM EST
    Went to her Golden Jubilee in London.  Have pictures of her and Prince Philip in their golden carriage.  Incredible.

    We were about this close.  Romantic enough to make one swoon.

    And it didn't split my eardrums.


    Me, neither. Loved the carriages (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:41:04 PM EST
    that I saw in the St. Paddy's Day parade in Dublin -- led by the solid-gold coach of the Lord Mayor.  So classy . . . until the carriages were followed by the Dublin chapter of the Harley-Davidson Club, roaring to raise the heavens.  Ugh.

    On our honeymoon (none / 0) (#34)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 07:05:29 PM EST
    one of my favorite stops was the Royal Mews in London, with all the majestic carriages!

    I recall the enormous solid-gold carriage that, if I remember correctly, was commissioned by the always-extravagant George III.  While it's certainly opulent, it turns out gold is a terrible choice for the body of a carriage, as the soft metal means that you feel every bump!


    Actually, Soft Metal (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:05:05 PM EST
    Would provide a smoother ride than less malleable metal like steel. Over inflated tires give a much harder ride than under inflated ones.  It is that the coach was made entirely of metal period, that makes for a bumpier ride. Although stage coaches were notoriously bumpy even when made of wood.

    Will take the "clip-clop" of (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:26:36 PM EST
    horses' hooves on pavement over motorcycles and man-made noise any day.

    Really? (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:32:38 PM EST
    You have obviously never lived through it. Much more noise, smells from horses than motorcycles and cars put together in the cities. The horse whips almost drove Schopenhauer mad.

    I have daughters who lived in the barn (none / 0) (#40)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:51:55 PM EST
    and would happily muck out stalls, and pick out hooves and clean tack, but would look at us like we were nuts if we suggested they might clean their own rooms, lol.  Younger daughter really got the horse bug, so we did horse shows and pony camp, trail riding and a little hunting (I say "we" only because I was the bankroll - and keeper of supplies and bringer of food and drink and chauffeur to and from shows, etc.), and even bought a large pony for her to show (we sold him when she was 16 - traded 4 feet for 4 wheels); she just rides for pleasure now, when she can.

    I love hearing the clip-clop of horses going down our road when the hunt comes through and they're crossing over from our neighbor's fields to ours; the hounds are going full throat (and our dogs are inside going nuts!), and you can hear the horses huffing, and the whippers-in are controlling the hunt.

    And I like horse smells...maybe not if there were as many horses on the road as there are cars, but in a parade?  No contest: horses every time.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:59:11 PM EST
    Quaint in the country but in any city, rubber wheels on cars are a godsend regarding noise. A friend was staying with a very elderly aristocrat in the center of Rome. Summer all the windows open and my friend commented that it was really noisy, particularly from the scooters which are super loud and quite prevalent.

    The elderly woman laughed and said that the noise was minor compared to when there were horses and buggies.  Metal hooves and metal covered wheels on coaches, whips constantly snapping etc.

    It was shocking to realize that the elderly woman was right. So much for my romantic notions.


    Was that close too, (none / 0) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:28:59 PM EST
    in Edinburgh.  No ponies, carriages or much Scots' enthusiasm, just a Rolls and handbag--but I was still amused.

    Is she? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:36:06 PM EST
    I thought she was head of the Church of England.

    Well, he's head of the Church of Obama. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:39:18 PM EST
    Damn, sorry.  That's some leftover snark from the primaries sneaking out there.

    I don't see how her being Defender of the [her] Faith makes a wit of difference.


    Good thing you aren't British, then, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:40:41 PM EST
    or you'd be in real trouble with the Crown :)

    Typo: whit of difference. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:44:25 PM EST
    She's head of state and (none / 0) (#24)
    by Lacey on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:20:53 PM EST
    Head of the Church of England. The difference between the American and British systems is that the king in America, er president, is head of state and government. In Britian the Prime Minister is head of government.

    Interesting typo in the etiquette link (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:27:43 PM EST
    Mr Oliver will instead cook the G20 leaders at Downing Street.

    Fixed! (none / 0) (#33)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:57:32 PM EST
    Rating, that is.  See my reply in other thread.  Yikes, dunno what's up with the computer.  I thought this was such a funny catch by you.:-)

    {grin} (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 07:05:43 PM EST
    no prob! Just a tad confused that you didn't see the humour in Jamie Oliver cooking up the G20, lol!~ I'd like to hear his cook along commentary on that one :) Prob much better than our normal talking heads. Certain to be more entertaining  ;)

    Wonder if the etiquette lessons (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:51:45 PM EST
    covered giving back rubs to Heads of State?

    Irrelevant (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:56:53 PM EST
    When you believe that you rule the world and a are direct channel from god, other cultures etiquette is irrelevant. IOW Bush believed his manners were the standard to be followed, not the other way around.

    I hope he got the right DVDs this time. (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:13:14 PM EST
    The ones he gave to Brown were the wrong region, and wouldn't play.

    You think they brought that John Goodman movie where he inherits throne of England?  I bet Liz would really get a kick out of it!

    I wonder what (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 03:36:35 PM EST
    Joachim Sauer will do during the First Wives' Club events put on by Sarah Brown?

    Whatever he wants :) (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 07:07:17 PM EST
    Do state visitors to the WH have (none / 0) (#2)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:00:16 PM EST
    etiquette lessons for how to behave in our capitol? I hope we have a standard of elegance established like so many other countries seem to.

    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:44:50 AM EST
    They might have to have etiquette lessons if they had already given back a gift of a bust of George Washington and given our representative cheesy, thoughtless gifts.

    I'd hope people in our government and press (none / 0) (#8)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:30:11 PM EST
    would put the emphasis elsewhere, though it may not be the case.

    Methinks you hope too much (none / 0) (#16)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:39:35 PM EST
    no evidence at all to support that. Does a day go by when we don't know what they are wearing, or not wearing (suit jackets) in the WH now?

    Is that etiquette or protocol? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:45:04 PM EST
    Should the Obamas (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:18:05 PM EST
    Worry re the Caterpillar incidnt in FRance?

    Should they worry about being (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:59:27 PM EST
    "delayed" by angry workers?  Obama is flanked by too many armed persons to have that easily happen to him.

    Well somebody fired (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 12:06:59 AM EST
    A shoe @ W in the Green Zone!

    I'm sure Obama can eat... (none / 0) (#22)
    by desertswine on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:01:43 PM EST
    without the food falling back out of his mouth, like Bush in (was it)Germany.

    My fave photo of the queen is the (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:32:14 PM EST
    one of her doing a major nose digging with her properly gloved finger :)  I can barely get an ungloved finger up there and she was fully in.....she's had practice.

    Etiquette and Protocol (none / 0) (#27)
    by Oceandweller on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 05:36:38 PM EST
    Both needed, Obama as head of State dealing with other heads of state and Michelle with the ladies and first german gentleman isnt it.
    There will be some baisemains for those ladies and all that jazz
    plus the table rules way more complicated than in the US as even when she receives guests ; no one not even the biggets head of state , everyone waits to the queen to start eating before anyone can start actually eating
    and rule is the same when she leave sthe table everyone leaves also
    she goes from group to group and everyone has to wait till she starts speaking to the group
    yes she is the Queen
    her only equals if it may be deemed so arte the other reigning royals
    jUAN cARLOS? aKIHITO? THE THAI KING bUMBIDHOL sorry for the typo queen beatrix etec
    in the US we look at it as quaint but those people still get a lot of respect from their citizens and  alot of european republics citizens

    Tea with the Queen (none / 0) (#32)
    by DFLer on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:50:46 PM EST
    stunning photo by Annie Leibowitz of Elizabeth II

    what wonderful lighting..

    Glad to see (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:45:31 AM EST
    He's going to have time to shoot hoops.

    King Hussien Gives Queen Elizabeth an IPOD (none / 0) (#45)
    by A J Sochaczewski on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:00:12 PM EST
    Obama's deluded he thinks hes a superstar! Look at how he acts and talks and needs to be seen  whenever in public. We are in the mist of the worst depression in our lifetime, We the people are not going on vacation in Fla. this Spring, and this fool Obama, takes 500 people to holiday with the queen in England--And WE are paying for it not Obama.
    England has a Queen. The Queen has Her own money-billons maybe However- Her Highness recives $0.00 from the people in England. If Obama wants to Be a King-Let him spend His own money on everything--let him be a Puppet figure only in our government-and kick His Highness out of Our United States of America- that WE founded (by the PEOPLE)  for the PEOPLE  to be a DEMOCRACY and have no king!!!!