British protocol hounds were on high alert for lapses as President Bush hosted their regent yesterday, and he did not disappoint. At a photo op with Queen Elizabeth II, he mangled the date of a previous visit. "You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17—1976," he told her, drawing a sharp look from her and a laugh from the crowd.
The British press also pounced on his "boilerplate" speech on the war on terror, which had little to do with the Queen, who doesn't influence foreign policy. Bush and Elizabeth shared an awkward moment when his father was in office, too: He told her he was the black sheep of his family, then asked, "Who's yours?"