Queen lunches with 4 prime ministers
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 05:01 GMT
British Prime Minister David Cameron, in another celebration of the queen's Diamond Jubilee, hosted her for lunch Tuesday with three of his predecessors.
In addition to Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the guest list included Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major, The Guardian reported. Margaret Thatcher was the only living prime minister absent, reported to be too frail to leave her house.
At 86, the queen has outlived seven of the 12 prime ministers who have governed during her 60 years on the throne. During that time, she is believed to have entered 10 Downing Street six times, the first at the invitation of Winston Churchill when he retired in 1955 and celebrated the occasion with a dinner.
The Guardian said one insider referred to Tuesday's lunch as the "seating plan from hell," given that there is no love lost between the two former Labor leaders, Blair and Brown. But the official photograph showed the queen, wearing a hat and holding a handbag, with the two Labor ministers on one side and the Conservatives on the other -- all, apparently, content.