Downing Street was “pulling out all the stops” to ensure Clinton’s May 1997 visit — made between trips to summits in The Hague and Paris — was a “public relations success,” according to memos between Dominick Chilcott, assistant private secretary to the foreign secretary, and John Holmes, Blair’s principal private secretary.
The documents have been released by the UK’s National Archives.
Although the President and his wife, Hillary Clinton, were offered tea with Queen Elizabeth, they declined it in favor of other activities, a note from Blair’s private secretary, Phillip Barton, reveals.
“The Americans said that the President and Mrs. Clinton were very grateful for HM The Queen’s invitation to tea at the Palace, but would wish to decline politely,” he said in a May 21 briefing.
The documents detail attempts to confirm the ever-changing schedule for the presidential couple’s visit to the UK on May 29.
At the time of the visit, Blair had just begun his 10-year tenure as UK Prime…