A Royal Reprieve

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Honestly, the queen could not have come to Washington at a better time. We are all completely worn out with the congressional tug of war over Iraq, and now it seems like the fight will go on at least through the summer. We haven't seen a lot else accomplished, even though the one instruction the voters gave during the last election was this: Get something done. We've been watching 18 presidential contenders debate and wondering why we still feel like there's got to be something more out there (you feel that way more acutely, according to the polls, if you're a Republican). To top it off, the spring weather started out cold–and only now has it begun to warm up.

In other words, we're looking for something else to talk about. Something preferably frivolous, and entertaining. So the queen of England is perfect. I mean, what's better than a white-tie event at the White House, with the queen bedecked in a zillion carats of family heirlooms, including a tiara! (And not a tacky one like that worn by the new Mrs. Giuliani at her nuptials. Remember?) Gotta love the crown, the real crown, the one once owned by Queen Mary.

Even the president, ever reluctant to don white tie (and who isn't?), seemed to be having a good time. Alas, my invitation got lost in the mail. But I must say, it was great fun to watch the likes of Nancy Reagan, Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, and Arnold Palmer gather for a night at the White House. One more thing (completely inside Washington): Trent Lott was back! Now he's in the leadership again, and he was at the White House, too. Who says there are no second acts in life?