Bill Clinton rejected tea with the Queen and wanted Indian food: Docs


  • Queen Elizabeth II invited President Bill Clinton for tea during his visit to the UK in 1997.
  • But recently declassified documents show he refused and wanted to go to an Indian restaurant.
  • He ended up going to a French restaurant with British Prime Minister Tony Blair instead.

Bill Clinton rejected tea with Queen Elizabeth II when he wanted to go to an Indian restaurant, according to recently declassified documents.

Clinton was visiting the UK for a day in 1997 for his first meeting with newly elected Tony Blair, The Guardian reported, citing declassified documents.

Clinton had met the Queen before.

Buckingham Palace wrote to Blair’s staff, noting that “Her Majesty the Queen would be very happy” to invite the Clintons for tea, according to documents held at the UK National Archives.

A briefing note in response noted that Clinton had instead “said he wanted to be a tourist” and “expressed interest in trying Indian food,” reported The Guardian.

Philip Barton, Blair’s private secretary, later said the Clintons “politely wish to decline” the royal offer. He also said they were also not interested in having dinner at Checkers, the prime minister’s country residence.

Clinton ultimately did not have an Indian, noted The Guardian: The Clintons and Blair went to a French restaurant.


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