Queen Elizabeth has refused to have lunch with Pres. Obama in London


Here are some photos of Queen Elizabeth yesterday at the London Zoo. The Queen was accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, as they opened up a new breeding center for the London Zoo’s endangered Asiatic lions. A new plaque was unveiled and the Queen met with zoo people and some activists from a conservation group.

The Queen wore a lovely pale blue coatdress and matching hat, which looked nice on her although I wish she wouldn’t be SO matchy-matchy. She accessorized with a sparkling diamond-and-pearl brooch and her three-strand pearl necklace. She looked nice.

Meanwhile, did you know that President Obama is going to be stopping in to have lunch with the Queen next month? Obama’s last year in office is pretty much his IDGAF Tour, but he’ll be flying to Saudi Arabia next month, then he’ll fly to England for meetings with David Cameron regarding ISIS. Obama also wanted lunch with the Queen to be on the agenda, but apparently the Queen didn’t want to come back to London for Obama.

The Queen refuses to come to London to meet President Barack Obama next month. Instead, accompanied by his security circus, he’ll trundle to Windsor in his bomb-proof, seven-ton limo for lunch. He’s due to stand alongside the PM and urge Britain to stay in the EU.

‘But he’d be well advised not to give a pro-EU sermon over lunch after the row about the Queen supporting Brexit,’ says my source.

[From The Daily Mail]

“Brexit” is the British withdrawal from the European Union, just FYI for our American readers. Does the Queen really support Brexit? Prince William does not, right? That was one of the big instigating rows that led to the “Work-shy Will” debacle unfolding now – William seemed to indicate that he was anti-Brexit, and everyone yelled at him for getting involved with politics. Anyway, do you think it’s rude that the Queen won’t come back to London to have lunch with Pres. Obama? Or did she just want him to spend an afternoon at Windsor Castle one last time?



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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160 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth has refused to have lunch with Pres. Obama in London”

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  1. Rhiley says:

    Ha ha! That scowl makes her look like Mama Fratelli.

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I don’t think it’s rude. She’s elderly and he’s relatively young.

    • Bridget says:

      I think the ‘he better not talk about the EU’ is rude, though.

      • Tina says:

        It’s just practical. People hate it when foreigners try to interfere in domestic politics. In 2004, the Guardian set up something called Operation Clark County, in which well-meaning lefty Guardian readers wrote to US voters in Clark County, Ohio and tried to convince them to vote for Kerry over Bush. It was a spectacular failure.

      • magda says:

        @Bridget: I don’t have problem with this. I’m from EU (but not UK) and I don’t understand why he should speak about this. I understand that he have an opinion, but this “Hey, I’m Head of State from different continent and I will tell you what I think about your internal politics” is kind of rude.

      • NYer says:

        @magda, we (Americans) get it all the time. It’s impossible to go anywhere without someone telling us what the U.S. has done, is doing or will do wrong.

      • Veronica says:

        Well…I mean, the economics of the EU are a pretty big deal, and Britain isn’t exactly a small fry when it comes to global political issues. I’m kind of confused why people don’t think the POTUS wouldn’t have a vested interest in the political maneuvers of major industrialized nation and military ally.

      • Shiba says:

        Yes, we have a global economy; the financial moves of all the major/1st world players effect each others monetary systems. It is Britain’s decision, but one whose financial repercussions will reverberate through the already struggling European economy and then, the earth.
        Obama, as president of a world power, has every right to weigh in, privately, on the fallout that will result if Britain leaves the EU. That is what leaders with foresight do.

      • Sixer says:

        Well, it depends how you see it. POTUS wants the UK to stay in the EU because the UK functions as an extension of US power and influence within it. It’s not as though Obama wants Britons to vote to stay for the good of Britons (and I quite like this POTUS and will likely vote to stay, so am not saying this out of animosity). So it’s political and not helpful. That’s politics and geo-strategy, I’m afraid.

        More to the point, however, is that preaching to the converted is pointless and a US president telling Brexiters what to do will not go down well with Brexiters. They are obsessed with what they are calling “Project Fear” and anything Obama says will be seen as part of Project Fear. It will just cement their Brexiting views that we have to get out of Europe to STOP OTHER PEOPLE BOSSING US ABOUT. See?

        I hope FLOTUS goes to a school and talks to girls. Much the best part of any Obama visit here!

      • Bridget says:

        @Magda: it’s not exactly like the UK is an isolationist…

        I have to admit, I’m a little surprised that to discuss a decision that could have far-reaching geo-political repercussions is described as “rude”. Do we call it “rude” when nations are lobbied to accept Syrian refugees?

      • Emma - The JP Lover says:

        @Tina, who wrote: “It’s just practical. People hate it when foreigners try to interfere in domestic politics. In 2004, the Guardian set up something called Operation Clark County, in which well-meaning lefty Guardian readers wrote to US voters in Clark County, Ohio and tried to convince them to vote for Kerry over Bush. It was a spectacular failure.”

        That may be, but I live in Ohio and I can tell you that the biggest factor in Kerry losing Ohio had more to do with the Republican Secretary of State at the time–Ken Blackwell–than a letter campaign from England. Mr. Blackwell claimed that sending 30 voting booths to small, County voting district polling centers and sending 9 voting booths to large metropolitan voting district polling centers was just an honest ‘clerical’ mistake (many of the few booths sent to largely Democratic districts didn’t work and the requested replacement booths never arrived). There were other ‘glitches’ as well, so many that I can claim that Ohio Democrats in the 2004 Presidential election (George W. Bush vs. John Kerry) were arguably more disenfranchised than Florida Democrats were in 2000 Presidential election (George W. Bush vs. al Gore).

      • Tina says:

        Oh, I don’t doubt it. But here’s some reaction at the time: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/oct/18/uselections2004.usa2

        The point is that President Obama and indeed all foreigners have every right to an opinion about whether Brexit should happen. But expressing that opinion is unlikely to have a positive effect on those who will make the decision, British voters.

      • Veronica says:

        I doubt Obama would suggest avoiding Brexit for Britain’s sake either, but that’s kind of what any political leader would do, y’know? The whole point of foreign heads weighing in on the issue is because they’re worried about the repercussions from any potential fallout and the effect it could have on their country. I doubt he’s going to convince any Brexiters of the opposite position, either, but I think we’re all savvy enough to know that what the people want isn’t always the primary concern of the heads of state. Enough foreign heads putting pressure on a few of the right people in power could sway their position from a particular issue, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if sentiments on the issue were stated off the record. Britain may be pursing their lips at foreign involvement on the issue, but they shouldn’t be naïve enough not to expect it, yeah?

      • Tina says:

        You’d be absolutely right if the Queen was like a normal person with power. One of her cardinal obligations is that she absolutely has to remain, and to be seen to remain, politically neutral. That’s why there was such a kerfuffle (described elsewhere in this thread) when a politician leaked what some consider to be her views on Brexit. Her private position on the subject cannot make a difference to the vote.

        All of the politicians in this country have made up their minds on the subject already. If Obama could convince Boris Johnson to become anti- rather than pro-Brexit, that might make a very small bit of difference. But it has to be done off the record rather than on, and privately. (And not to the Queen).

      • Sixer says:


        Look at it in terms of Trump. If the UK PM made an official visit to the US and used the platform to exhort Americans not to vote for him, how do you think it would go down?

        The people who are likely to vote for Trump would be incensed and if there was any movement at all, it would be towards increased voter turnout for Trump. The people who would hate to see Trump elected would be half glad that the rest of the world sees it as they do, but even they would be thinking, “No, UK PM, pipe down. We agree but you’re being counter-productive. And anyway, much as we hate Trump even we think this is a cheek and our votes have eff all to do with you.”

        There is a diplomatic convention that other world leaders do not interfere in or offer opinions about the general elections of other countries. It’s a good one and it’s there for a reason. Do not underestimate what an emotive – and often vicious – issue the EU is for Britons. It’s a visceral thing. And I would say that the diplomatic convention over general elections should be extended to this referendum. Interventions. Will. Not. Help.

    • Snazzy says:

      Exactly. he can go to her, and as if he won’t love to have one last visit to Windsor anyway

    • doofus says:

      agree…plus, as snazzy said, who wouldn’t want to visit Windsor anyway? maybe she wants to have him in HER HOME, and not some impersonal meeting venue.

    • Sarah(too) says:

      I think it is nicer for her to invite him to Windsor Castle than to come to London. It is well known that Windsor is her favorite – her home. She’s inviting him to her personal space and not just her public palace.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I agree GNAT, she’s 90 years old, for Pete’s sake.

      • Sarah says:

        ITA. For heaven’s sake, by anyone else’s standards, the woman should have been able to retire 30 years ago. Obama can go to her!

    • Shirleygail says:

      Exactly, She’s old, he’s much younger, he can do the travelling.

    • kori says:

      Agreed. And they’re both heads of state but she’s way his senior in longevity and actual age. It’s fitting that he go to her.

    • Ash says:


      Citizens from countries outside of the USA are always weighing in and giving their opinions about us and the our politics. Americans aren’t allowed to have opinions about other countries and their politics?

  3. Nancy says:

    Poor Prince Charles will never live to be king. This old girl will probably outlive him.

    • PinaColada says:

      It does happen, unfortunately! My mom passed at 58, but her mother is alive and going strong at 92 with zero health problems.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        My mother is 95 and perfectly fine, except she’s an AWFUL person. I have all kinds of things wrong with me and I truly worry that I will not have one day on Earth without her telling me how stupid I am. I also believe her hatred of me contributed to my being sick. I got the message early on that I was a waste of space and it created a mind/body thing – I keep fighting serious illnesses. Now I just don’t talk to her. My brother made her happy when he was 21 by killing himself. Only the good die young!

      • spidey says:

        Belle, you know what Eleanor Roosevelt said – “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” You should have given her some back a long time ago. Or cut her out.

      • Anne tommy says:

        Belle Epoche, she sounds an old cow. I’m sorry she has had such an awful impact on you, and hope things get better in future.

      • Azurea says:

        Spidey, that’s an admirable idea, but pretty difficult to achieve, especially when said ogre is your parent. That is the most primal of bonds. I have a sister like that, and I’m thankful that I’ve had almost no relationship with her for over 10 years.
        She poisoned our family life. She is not well & is now a retired hermit. I also have a chronic health problem which I know to be directly related to the terrible atmosphere of enmity I had to grow up in. I’ve done much healing, but it’s been a lifelong struggle. Sure, it was a whole family dynamic, but she was at the centre of it.

      • Ennie says:

        People can only hurt you if you give them permission to. You could get some help to get stronger and even better.
        I understand one feels responsibility, particularly if she is so elderly, but as they say in my country, take thing according to who they come from. She might be your mother, but if she is an awful person, don’t let it get to you. If she is not a good person, her bad meaning words should have no value to you.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Boundaries! Cut her out! She will never change, and you deserve better. Her problems should not be yours.

        My mother is toxic in a different way, and I survived by moving 1500miles away, and keeping my distance emotionally. I learned long ago to speak up about her behaviors, realized recently the futility of hoping she’d ever change ( at 79, she won’t), and now can breathe, knowing I have the right to stop talking to her any time she starts in.

        You have to save yourself, girl. You deserve it.

      • Nikki says:

        Two points. First Belle: try yoga (not hot, westernized, etc.). I came from an abusive background and it did WONDERS for both my self esteem , and later, forgiveness. Two: had to mention a gal who is 103, and went hot air ballooning in France for her 100’th birthday! Her daughter is 83, and does SHE get looks when she tells people she’s having dinner with her mum! Lastly, agree with all above posters who pointed out it’s a hospitable invitation to her favorite castle, to a younger and more spry leader!

      • Kelly says:

        Belle, so sorry. My mother was a casebook narcissist. I used to look at her and think only the good die young, she’ll outlive us all. No, she didn’t but I can still hear her in my head at times.
        And, Ennie, saying it should not get to you is good advice, but it’s not that easy when the one person you are supposed to count on tears you down. That’s a bitter pill to try and get over.

      • Oli says:

        @belle even though I don’t know you I’m proud of you. You’re really smart for not talking or getting involved with toxic people (family or not). I try to do that to but I’m a teen so I can’t really leave but I do try to avoid the ridiculousness of my family at all cost by not attending functions and stuff. Which is why you’re a smart person don’t speak to those who don’t care to listen and have your best interest at heart. You’re better off. It’s a shame we don’t get to pick are family but at least situations like these give us knowledge and awareness plus sympathy for those going through the same thing or something related to such. Have a good life you and everyone deserves that.

      • Carmen says:

        Belle, you’re not alone My mom was like that. She used me as her verbal punching bag until the day I told her to shut the hell up. Distancing myself from her was one of the smartest things I ever did. She died six years ago. And no, I don’t miss her.

      • My cousin’s grandparents are like that. His great grandmother is still alive (I swear she’s at least a hundred!), but his grandma died a few years ago…….

      • Cricket says:

        Belle and others who have weighed in their experience… thank you for speak up and acknowledging and confirming that not all of us are blessed with a perfect, loving mother. I too was abused both mentally and physically by my mother and her mother before she died. It is not easy to just say.. oh forget about it, don’t let it get to you.. as a child, this is all you hear and all you know and it fills your head so no, you can’t just let it go. Unfortunately, abuse doesn’t work that way. I’m lucky in that I’ve survived, have broken off all contact with her for over 25 years and have learned I’m not the only one who literally has a mother from hell. Mother’s Day is a day where all we hear is to celebrate what greatness mothers bring to the world. Similar (I guess) to those who lost their mothers at a young age, this holiday is not one that I look forward to hearing about nonstop until it’s over for a year. Those who have been abused by their mothers and live to deal and fight through it are to be commended. It takes strength and a lot of self determination to survive.

    • Dena says:

      I like the Queen, I do, but at this point it’s beginning to look like two old people just out doing sh*t. You know . . . those little old couples you see out together . . . so old and stooped that they kind of walk sideways. What’s next from them to see and try? Breakfast at the new Pancake and Waffle house?

      IMO, this is one of those planned events where Kate and or William, if not both, could have brought George and could have had a day at the zoo. Legitimate good press. Instead of scrounging and reactive public events and press.

  4. lilacflowers says:

    I would opt for lunch at Windsor.

    Also, in the past, it has seemed like the Queen really liked the Obamas. She’s inviting him to lunch at her home.

    • doofus says:

      that’s what I was saying…I think it’s not so much “pffft…if you want to see me, you’ll have to come to ME, as I am NOT coming to you” and more like “come on over, would love to have you in my home”.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes, I was relieved to figure that out. I was thrown and dismayed by the headline, thinking she was refusing to have lunch with him AT ALL.

        LOL at IDGAF tour. Seriously.

      • kori says:

        the Queen regards WC as home and BP as the office. It’s definitely more personal to get an invite to the former.

    • Liz Simpson says:

      It seems very silly to make an issue of this! Subtly trying to say she’s dissing him. I agree 100% that she’s inviting him to her home and absolutely he should not interfere in the Brexit talks! Imagine the outrage if the UK tried to dictate to the American government.

    • Deedee says:

      Agreed. Would do lunch at Windsor Castle anyday of the week over London.

  5. Tina says:

    She’s 90. It’s a lot easier for him to make the journey out to Windsor Castle than it is for her to come in to London.

    And I don’t know what the Queen thinks about Brexit now. But I do know that she and the Palace are beyond annoyed with Michael Gove, who leaked details of a years-old conversation about it to the papers.

  6. deezee says:

    Haha its not rude. She’s a queen and he is a lowly commoner, American to boot. LOL
    Seriously, though, she is an elderly woman and I think she is trying to scale back on her travels, and appearances.

    • V4Real says:

      That’s a beautiful lion. That’s al I got.

    • wolfpup says:

      “She’s a Queen, and he’s a lowly commoner” – this is why I look down on this system of government and it’s cousin, Dixie’s deep South (to elevate certain blood, they used blacks to fill in for commoners and worse).

      But, an Invite to her home – sounds reasonable and friendly.

  7. willful ignorance says:

    Ha. You don’t mess with THE QUEEN!

  8. Prairiegirl says:

    Not rude. She’s elderly. His idea to meet for lunch? He can go to her.

  9. InvaderTak says:

    The article, if I’m reading the subtext right, makes it sound like Obama was being rude. Also sounds like they’re mocking his insane security. Should he have requested an audience or something like that instead of inviting HM to lunch?

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, I wondered about the dig at security, too. As if the royals don’t have tight security?

    • KB says:

      I think they were emphasizing his security to try and sell the “he has to go to HER” angle. If they just said, “so he’ll drive to Windsor for lunch” it sounds a lot less dramatic. And is President Obama supposed to ask to have lunch at her home? He was probably fishing for an invite!

  10. Ginger Gal says:

    Oh, so the highest paid welfare recipient in England won’t meet the President of the United States? Well excuse me!

    • Naya says:

      Lmao. I have a feeling Phillip spends every Sunday morning going through the papers at breakfast and grouching about “damn welfare scroungers”

    • Jules says:

      You win the internet today!

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Did she stop working when I wasn’t looking?

    • Jaded says:

      She’s also one of the hardest working and pays taxes. She’s the last good monarch. And she is meeting him for lunch, just at Windsor.

    • Goodnight says:

      But she IS meeting him. She wants to have lunch with him in her home?

      Also, the queen works really hard. She’s not like Will and Kate.

  11. SusanneToo says:

    Just to echo almost everyone else, no, it’s not rude. When I’m 90 I’ll expect youngsters to visit me, not the other way around. And I doubt President Obama feels put out one bit.

    • Addison says:

      Completely agree. People are trying to create something where there is nothing. The Queen loves the Obamas. She even touched them! She never touches people apart from shaking hands.

      She’s cute. I love the picture picked out, her looking all grumpy.

    • wolfpup says:

      Yet always, England desperately wants the US in it’s back pocket! We’ve fought a lot of wars together.

  12. Sixer says:

    The Brexiters won’t like Obama (or anyone from Washington) suggesting we vote to stay in. That’s a major red rag for the Little Englanders, I can tell you. I hope he’s brazen about it and wags his finger at them or something, because I will get happy happy schadenfreude from the fall-out as they struggle to reconcile their Little Englander mentality with their Atlanticist foreign policy beliefs. Hopefully, they will explode from their own contradictions.

    Not that I am rabidly pro-EU, either. I think the whole thing is a silly distraction and we Celebitches should resurrect our island dream, complete with the Sixlets wearing their interwebz antenna foil helmets.

    Who else can I have a pop at in this comment? Obama? Ok. I hope his silly big willy car gets stuck on a Windsor street calming bump. (I don’t really, but best I can come up with).

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I don’t think any of us (*waves from Germany*) are rabid pro-EU at the moment. … Okay, I am pretty pro-EU but for pathetically idealistic reasons. Right now though it seems like all reasonable debate and rational thinking has gone out the window. I don’t give a flying f*ck what the Queen thinks, all due respect. I also don’t care what Obama thinks. Excuse me but WHO went into Iraq and destablized the entire region? It wasn’t us. Now we’re trying to not let refugees starve on a frickin’ patch of grass at the Macedonian border and most countries are looking around going “I’m sorry, you want us to take HOW many refugees? Nooo, we simply can’t.” I’m SO over anyone who wants to talk about Brexit. Again, all due respect, but then just leave. Let’s call the whole thing off. See how everyone’s economy does then.

      Btw, I don’t believe most Brits really want to leave. I could be wrong though. But what the Brexit supporters apparently want is all the benefits and none of the responsiblities. Which is understandable but uh … no.

      ETA: Okay, that entire comment reads really aggressive which was not my intent. At least not towards you. Just towards Cameron. And Obama. And possibly Merkel. Everyone else, basically.

      • KB says:

        As an American, I just want to thank you and your country for all of the refugees you’re taking in and all the help you’re providing. It seems like it’d be a given for all countries to take it on, but few are willing to.

      • BritAfrica says:

        @ littlemissnaughty

        I can understand your frustrations with the Brexit discussion and I did not read your comments as being aggressive. But please let me add my 2 Euro cents if I may.

        Germany or Merkel, much as I love her, decided in silo, to give the indication that they were happy to take refugees in. The EU member states were not consulted, Germans were not consulted and every day nobody EU taxpayers like you and I were not consulted. To me, this is not democracy.

        Yes, there was a crisis. Yes, it was difficult to know how to proceed. Yes, the pictures on our TV screens were heartbreaking. But NO. No one member state should unilaterally make decisions for Europeans regarding refugees without consulting Europeans! Even if the indication wasn’t an invite, it was interpreted as an invite and the floodgates opened in Turkey. Suddenly there were more people taking boats than ever before believing that Germany/Austria was very happy to host them.

        Brexit was sure to fail. Cameron put it in the ridiculous Tory election manifesto to shut his backbenchers up. It had no legs. Suddenly, now it does. Why? In one word…….Refugees!

        So no one is queuing to help share 1m refugees?? Not EU member states? Not North America? Not the Saudis/Bahranis/UAE/Qatar? Not South America/Far East? No? It’s because immigration is supposed to be a trickle not a flood. A flood scares people.

        We should have first sorted out the refugees who were already in the EU, determine among ourselves which countries they will be distributed to and THEN decide if more could be welcomed from Turkey to help that country out.

        We didn’t, so here we are.

      • Tina says:

        @BritAfrica, I agree with every word.

    • bluhare says:

      I am so glad you want to get the island commune going again, Sixer! I was thinking about it yesterday with Aidan Turner. Frisbee was going to have him and David Tennant read us romantic poetry as bedtime stories if I remember right. And if a certain presidential candidate whose family name used to be Drumpf actually wins in November, that knock on your door the next morning will be me coming in to wait for you to get packed so we can go!

    • Sixer says:

      Littlemiss: “pro-EU but for pathetically idealistic reasons” would about sum up how I’m feeling. Shall I put the European Central Bank or the City of London in charge of me? Not much of a choice. I’ll vote to stay but with little enthusiasm. And I think we will not vote to leave.

      Bluhare: seriously, let’s! I’m fed up with my choices being bad, badder or baddest. We should buy that island and start again! I’m bringing the jail bait lead singer of a punk band Sixlet Major has discovered. I’m sure May November relationships will work on the island.

      • BritAfrica says:

        ‘Shall I put the European Central Bank or the City of London in charge of me? Not much of a choice.’

        Oh……for shame Sixer! How could you even compare it? At least when we in Canary Wharf mess up your economy/probability of getting a mortgage/ probability of ever buying your house at the age of 30/keep interest rates forever low so savers get nothing…etc…etc, there’s a Gordon Brown to conveniently pin all the blame on and sack!

        How would we ever sack the faceless morons in Brussels?

      • Sixer says:


        True story: as I was typing that, I thought “I hope BritAfrica doesn’t see it; she’ll have my guts for garters”! Sorry darling. I’ll change my mind when you become a CEO!

  13. Lulu says:

    Whether the Queen supports Brexit is actually a bit of an issue in the ‘In/Out debate’. The Sun ran an article claiming she had expressed Eurosceptic views at a luncheon several years ago (though that in itself does not necessarily mean she would support an actual exit). Nick Clegg, who was present at the supposed meeting, claims he does not remember this occurring, and the Palace has filed a complaint over the story, disputing it as untrue. The Sun, however, has backed the story on the basis of it coming from a trusted source. The main suspect for this source is Michael Gove, a Tory Brexit-supporter who was also at this luncheon.

    It’s caused a bit of a furor, as some Labour MPs have demanded that Gove, if the culprit, be held accountable – either he spoke the truth about what she said, and in doing so broke the confidentiality ministers are supposed to uphold about the monarchy and damaged the political neutrality of the monarch (because she would have made the comments in a private capacity, not as an official statement from the head of state) or he distorted/outright lied and tried to use her for political gain. So the Queen’s actual views are uncertain, but it’s just another tangle in the massive mess Brexit’s left the Tories in.

    • Sixer says:

      It’s all going from the sublime to the ridiculous, frankly. I expected Tom Watson to throw a paddy in the HoC over dreadful, scurrilous rumours about Her Maj. He does like to demand a resignation. But today, Osborne apparently suddenly finds it IS possible after all to cancel the tampon tax. So a few dozen unruly Brexiting backbenchers can get a tax reversed that the entire female population of the UK were told was an impossible task. Because EU.

      Who should make the documentary? Chris Morris? Charlie Brooker? Or should we go the whole hog and get in Mel Brooks?!

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up. Tampon tax?

      • Sixer says:

        Tampon tax! Like a sales tax but on non-necessary items. Implemented at various rates throughout the EU. Most food exempt. Books exempt, etc. Women’s sanitary products attract this tax and it’s been an ongoing campaign to get rid since forever. Our finance minister has been telling us for years that EU regulations means he has to keep imposing it, right up until a referendum is announced and he comes under pressure from members of his party who want to Brexit. And suddenly… hey presto! It’s possible to abolish it after all.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Oooooooooh…. I see. Books necessary, tampons and pads not. The obvious solution is to rip up the paperbacks and use them instead.

        Are condoms taxed? Are they necessary items?

        I’m in Canada and checked on this politically volatile situation. I had no idea. The first piece says the tax is gone but tariff lives on; the second says the (former) government dropped the tax because with baby boom women hitting menopause (and older people voting more than younger people), itwas an easy tax break to give right before a federal election.

        Our sales tax is 13%.



      • Squiggles says:

        @ Who ARE these people?

        The 13% sales tax is only in some provinces. AB is only GST (similar to the VAT in Europe) at 5%.

        Some provinces have removed the sales tax portion from sanitary products last summer – SK comes to mind.

        Never should have been added. Like the HST on Hydro & Natural Gas in ON.

      • Sixer says:

        Condoms also liable! But we can get those for free on the NHS along with all other contraception.

        Our VAT is 20% but tampons were on a reduced rate of 5%. The finance minister had been redirecting the monies raised to women’s issues in the UK. So we were paying tampon tax to fund domestic violence services. #mustmenstruatemore You really couldn’t make it up. Mind you, now he’s abolished the tax when he couldn’t before – because Brexiters – he’ll probably cut the funding for DV.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Squiggles, you’re absolutely right, my apologies. Sometimes due to the international nature of this board I broaden it to Canada, but in this case I shouldn’t have. 13% in Ontario.

        And since I’m still relatively new to Canada, why the heck is there tax on hydro and natural gas in Ontario when they are necessary? (and hydro is already over priced) Those bills are bloated.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Sixer, no kidding, free contraception? And yet the world keeps spinning. Imagine what would have happened if Obamacare included free contraception. A world gone mad. As for women paying to reduce violence against women … that is down the rabbit hole. Tax shaving cream (but only manly shaving cream).

        Someone I know works with a Brit who is horrified about some attempt to turn over public (what the US and Canada would call public; ie tax supported available to all) schools to a private corporation. I don’t say this often, but … WTF?

      • Squiggles says:

        @Who ARE these people?

        It is a way too long and complicated story. Short version: There used to only be GST on Utilities. When Dalton introduced the HST (vs. the GST and PST) he basically applied PST to said utilities. Hydro is so expensive because of many different screwups and “Green” energy (how can it be green when it is basically a bird blender?). And don’t forget that it is written into the contracts that Hydro execs are to have bonuses every year.

        But the last Federal Budget (Feb. 2015) was to take the GST off Tampons and such. It was up to individual provinces to remove their portions of the HST or their PST from them as well.

      • Sixer says:

        WATP – free contraception, yep. There are some good things remaining! Medical prescriptions are £8ish per item, but contraception, stuff like diabetes maintenance drugs, and prescriptions for children and pensioners and the out-of-work are all free.

        Re: education. It depends what you mean by privatisation. The government are proposing to change all schools from being run by the local government authority to being independent “academies”. These are a bit like charter schools in the US. Still free to all, but the private sector introduced into public service by what they like to call neoliberal marketisation. Needless to say, I disapprove, but there are plenty that don’t.

      • bluhare says:

        To be fair, contraception is available at no cost on insurance plans. Not every single thing, but if it’s not OTC and it’s on the list it’s no cost.

        I’m gobsmacked at the tampon tax. As men perpetuate most of the violence, is there a pro rata share on condoms and shaving tackle?

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Thank you Squiggles. What a mess. With ON hydro sounds like greed and incompetence – the usual.

        Thank you Sixer. In Canada relative to province, prescriptions are not covered and people rely on private pay or supplemental insurance available through employment or privately paid premiums, or poverty-based programs. Pharmacare is a major weak link in the system, especially with the advent of very expensive non-hospital drugs (chemo, etc.). Drugs used in hospital are covered.

        It sounded like charter schools, I’m from the USA. Don’t trust ’em. They act like private schools using public money, so they cherry-pick students, avoid regulation, and pretend to be serving the under-served, all the while draining true public schools of students whose parents can work the system a little better than others or who are (white and) looking for schools that are de facto segregated. Has the nation become better educated overall since they were introduced? Have more minority students graduated from high school and gone on to higher education? I know my opinions may draw comment, but that’s what this is, my opinion.

      • Sixer says:

        Bluhare – I can’t believe I haven’t moaned to you guys about the tampon tax before, especially when the finance minister’s original response to the heat on the issue was to divert the proceeds to DV services!

        WATP – my view of academies precisely. And I am a governor of one of them (the original plan was to bribe schools to take the status with capital grants). Head teachers aren’t CEOs, managing facilities. They are education professionals. What’s the point of being one of those if you never do any educational work?

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        This confusion between market goods and public goods really has to go.

      • Lucrezia says:

        It’s interesting what is and isn’t covered by various countries sales taxes. Here in Oz, our GST is 10%. Condoms and sunscreen are considered essential items and exempted, but female sanitary products are not.

      • Sixer says:

        Lucrezia – some of ours are so ridiculous that we had a (in)famous court case about Jaffa Cakes! Are they cakes (not taxable) or chocolate biscuits (taxable)? They were ruled cakes. Plain biscuits aren’t taxable. Chocolate-covered ones are. Not sure where that leaves chocolate chip cookies!

  14. Livvers says:

    Isn’t Windsor Castle what the Queen considers home, i.e. her the house she holds closest in her affections? I would consider being hosted by the Queen at Windsor more of a compliment than an insult. I don’t think I would take that article as straightforward fact, it’s got an awful lot of editorial comment packed into those 2 or 3 sentences quoted above.

  15. aaa says:

    If President Obama is flying into Heathrow, isn’t it much closer to Windsor Castle than to Buckingham Palace? And IMO Windsor is a much cooler castle.

    • aaa says:

      Also at this is the time of year Windsor Castle is the Queen’s base, if the state visit from Spain had happened, some of the main activities would’ve been at Windsor Castle.

      Since President Obama has already visited Buckingham Palace, he may actually like visiting the Queen in one of her other homes.

  16. Tala D says:

    I’ve lived right near Windsor and by car, it’s generally at most 40 minutes a way from central London. Not a big deal.

  17. coconut says:

    All I can think of is if Mr. Obama is coming from central London to Windsor via car, the motorcade will reek havoc for hours, as it does when he jets into San Francisco, near where I live. Try not to drive around Windsor before and after lunch that day!

    • Tough Cookie says:

      Maybe Kathy and Bill will lend him their helicopter!! But no, they will probably be “working” that day and will need it for themselves…

      • Tina says:

        I think he’ll take his own helicopter. I live fairly centrally in London, and we get a lot of helicopters, but I remember his from his 2009 and 2011 visits well. It’s huge and has a very distinctive sound.

      • kori says:

        Marine One

    • Jaded says:

      “Wreak havoc”. Unless the car somehow spews clouds of oily smoke in which case it would reek.

    • KB says:

      Yeah, they shut down entire freeways when he’s in Houston. Still exciting to have him here though! Do they shut down roads like that in England too? I guess they’d have to.

  18. Murphy says:

    Windsor isn’t that far, he’ll be fine. It’s not too much to ask for a 90 year old Sovereign.
    I should think this should be considered a compliment to Obama, HM thinks of Windsor as her real home so this is more personal.

  19. Bettyrose says:

    I’d give anything to have lunch with Obama. I don’t have an opinion on Britain and the EU, but I’ve conversed with Brits happily working elsewhere in the EU and they seem to enjoy the option.

  20. Magnoliarose says:

    Double weird half post deleted.

  21. Magnoliarose says:

    I think it’s a lovely idea to have lunch at Windsor and don’t think Obama would be offended in the least and most likely would enjoy seeing Windsor. Plus come on it’s the Queen!
    Maybe for extra entertainment Andrew will ram a gate or something.

    • Lisa says:

      Since he’s leaving office soon and the Queen is so elderly, this might be the last time he sees the Queen, so her “home” at Windsor is a nice gesture IMO.

      • Magnoliarose says:

        I think so too. We don’t have castles and manor houses or a queen obviously so this chance, like you said, won’t likely happen again.

  22. bernie says:

    The Obamas were not invited to the Royal Wedding I remember and are not that well liked as people like to claim.

    • Tina says:

      The Queen likes the Obamas very much. They weren’t invited to W&K’s wedding because it wasn’t a state occasion. This is the kind of thing where being the “heir to the heir” actually does make a difference.

      • Nic919 says:

        And the security required when the US president shows up is insane, so that would have added that much more cost to the taxpayers for the event.

      • notasugarhere says:

        W&K’s made up idea of a semi-state wedding caused all kinds of diplomatic and etiquette problems. Like dumping the majority of the royal guests, not inviting them to the reception, and causing HM to have to step in and plan something.

    • Malificent says:

      It’s pretty commonly accepted that the Queen enjoys visiting with the Obamas. There are photos from several years back of the Queen actually initiating a sort of semi-hug with Michelle Obama.

      • Imqrious2 says:

        Actually, Obama initiated the hug, breaking royal protocol

      • Olenna says:

        From the Telegraph, 02 Apr 2009: “While guests began to file out at the end of the event, Mrs Obama and the Queen began chatting again and appeared to joke about their height difference. As the pair moved closer, the Queen put her hand on the back of Mrs Obama who did the same for a few moments as they chatted.”
        From Huff Post, 05/03/2009: “A Buckingham Palace spokesman who asked not to be identified because of palace policy said he could not remember the last time the queen had displayed such public affection with a first lady or dignitary.
        “It was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection,” he said. “We don’t issue instructions on not touching the queen.”

  23. spidey says:

    The article is shit stirring of the first order. The Queen has to be politically neutral so it would be courting disaster if she met him in the course of a political meeting, which this is. If Obama is coming to say “stay in Europe” (which if he is, I think it is a bloody cheek) she has to stay away.

  24. jsilly4e says:

    Anything from the Dailymail I take with a grain of salt. They are constantly pushing the Kardashians and the readers and commenters love Trump and lean towards being racist, prejudice, misogonistic and just plain awful. They used to try and speak truthfully against Trump but the readers went beserk against the Dailymail and now they are trying to make the nasty commenters happy. Just read the articles on Trump and Obama. It’s horrifying.

  25. Rita says:

    I would love to see the queen stand-up and publicly declared that England must leave the Eurozone with it’s open borders insanity as well southern Europe bleeding dry the bank accounts of successful cultures in the north. My God, Sweden is advising it’s female population not to go out at night because its unsafe.

    Now is the time for the Brexit. If England doesn’t get out now, it is finished. All the sacrifice of the generations of WWI and WWII will be for naught. If England stays in the EU, they will have spat of the grave of Winston Churchill who said in the darkest days of the battle of Britain:

    “There will always be an England”.

    PS- I realize this post is somewhat PC incorrect for this site so I won’t be surprised if its not posted.

    • Rachel says:

      I can understand people being sceptical of the EU, but the hyperbole in this is beyond me.

      a) The Swedish advice was in one town, Ostersund, and not a nation-wide edict by any stretch of the imagination; it also advised women not to go out at night alone, not to go out at all. I live in Cambridge and when there was a series of sexual attacks in the city centre at night, women were also advised not to go out alone in the hours of darkness until the suspects were apprehended.

      b) Winston Churchill also said that he would ‘not preside over a dismemberment [of the Empire]’ when he was faced with the reality that Britain could no longer sustain colonial rule as it had done in the 19th century. Was restoring independence to the territories and people we subjugated and oppressed for centuries also spitting on Churchill’s grave?

      c) I can’t find any reference that Churchill ever actually said ‘there’ll always be an England’. I can only find the song popularized by Vera Lynn, which was actually released in 1939, a full year before the Battle of Britain.

    • Tina says:

      Rita, I’m sympathetic, I really am. There’s a lot I dislike about the EU. But we’re not in Schengen (the open border agreement, which is probably dead anyway) and we’re not in the eurozone. We benefit from the common market and free trade without the burdens of having to share a currency with Greece or free movement of economic migrants from outside the EU. We don’t have to take the numbers of migrants that Sweden and Germany are taking. We get cheap labour from poorer EU countries and our pensioners retire to Spain. Yes, we have to pay benefits to EU citizens who live and work in the UK. But it’s reciprocal and all of those pensioners living in Spain benefit from their health care system.

      . Brexit would be a disaster for the financial services industry, which is a significant chunk of the U.K. economy. It would mean that Scotland leaves the UK. It’s a huge risk, one that I don’t think we can afford to take.

      • BritAfrica says:

        “Brexit would be a disaster for the financial services industry, which is a significant chunk of the U.K. economy. It would mean that Scotland leaves the UK. It’s a huge risk, one that I don’t think we can afford to take”

        Thank you Tina!

        This is an issue Brexiters pretend they cannot see or worse, delude themselves will not happen. To anyone thinking otherwise, let me assure you that Brexit will not only disrupt the British economy but also the EU one. Millions will be wiped off shares/stocks/bonds for months in several countries as the uncertainty of ‘what happens next’ reverberates around the financial globe.

        So how do you think the EU will get that money back? By imposing a levy on every transaction that the UK routes through any EU financial institution. Payments, Pensions, Insurance.…you name it. Manufacturers, sole traders, suppliers, exporters/importers…etc…etc….will suddenly find that they have to pay more money for everything! Those of us who work in Financial Services do not want to find out just how hard we’re gonna get slapped!

        But also, let me too dispense with PC and tell little Englanders a vital truth. Scotland and Wales will not just sit idly by whilst England and Northern Ireland determine what their future should be. If we pull them out of the EU, it will mean that the UK govt lied to Scots at the Scottish referendum. Like it or not, the topic of whether we remain within the EU is not one that is down to just us, the English, anymore. FACT!

        Honestly, I’ll like to see who in the current UK govt will have the nerve to try that crap with Sturgeon!

    • Sixer says:

      Winston Churchill sent the army to fire on ancestors of mine. For daring to go on strike. Jus’ sayin’. There might always be an England, but there’s a Wales, too!

    • Elaine says:

      Recent polls show that, because of the passion exhibited by the Brexiteers, the UK may vote to leave. They are more likely to get out and actually vote, as opposed to lazily clicking *in* on Facebook polls.

      I am with you. And I hope we get *out*.

      -There is no guarantee that Scotland will leave if Brexit happens. They may talk, they may vote, but let’s wait until 55% vote yes, before panicking.

      -Every migrant who is granted european citizenship in sweden, germany, austria etc. will then be able to settle into the UK. No questions asked, red carpet rolled out. Wouldn’t you prefer to decide who gets to come? And why? I speak here of skilled versus unskilled workers.

      -Europe and the UK do need each other. We are interdependent, and Brexit is not an attempt to deny that fact. We will continue to trade without having a political union with a quasi-democratic superstate with endemic levels of fiscal excess.

      -Pensioners will still be able to settle in Spain. Airports are not going to shut down. People will climb aboard and seek the sun. You’ll just have to get a visa. The world will continue to turn if you have to fill out an extra form.

      For sovereignty? I think a bit of hassle is well worth it. JMO.

      • Tina says:

        @Elaine, polls show that if the Uk votes for Brexit, the Scots will vote for independence. We won’t be able to change our Brexit vote if that happens, it will be a done deal. In my opinion, it’s not worth the risk.

        It’s not easy to become a citizen in either Sweden or Germany (ask the Turkish gastarbeiter). If they’ve spent 8 years learning Swedish or German and getting all their ducks in a row to become citizens, they’re hardly likely to then up sticks for the UK. And even if they do, they’re precisely the kind of immigrants we would want!

        If we vote for Brexit, the EU is going to have absolutely no incentive to grant us a sweet deal on trade. It has taken Canada ages, they have no bad feeling against them as we would inevitably have against us, and the EU-Canada deal is still not effective.

        And it’s going to have a significant effect on many UK citizens living abroad, it won’t be so easy as just to get a visa. We have sovereignty. Being in the EU does not mean we give that up.

      • BritAfrica says:


        So in the short term, whilst all the turmoil is raging, who gets to swallow the bitter pill? Which sector(s) will be made to carry the jobs losses/suffer the financial losses which will no doubt follow? Financial Services? Manufacturing?

        Sure, it will all be fine in the long term, economies tend to survive right? But who gets blamed in the short term for the ensuing chaos that will affect those who lose jobs/homes…etc….as some sectors are forced to retrench?

  26. Green Is Good says:

    I’m giggling at the IDGAF tour! Rock on Barack.

    I wonder what FLOTUS calls him. Barry?

  27. Sucio says:

    Its a sensitive issue and the Royals are not supposed to be outwardly Political.

    In the same way that it would be rude for us to sidle up and comment on issues of possible separation of states from the US or Canada the same applies here.

    Anyway as per bloody usual its the same old US pushing for economic relationships that work in their favour – its your Obama pushing TTIP and it will destroy Europe.

  28. kodakay says:

    I don’t think it’s rude at all and I believe Celebitchy is making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s not like she refused to have lunch with him at all. Did you ever think it would not be convenient for her to be in London at that particular time? Are you privy to her schedule.

    Knock it off!

  29. Guesto says:

    What a non-story. This is nothing to do with either the queen or Obama, just an opportunity for Ephraim Hardcastle to express his own personal bias and get as many anti-Obama digs as he can into 4 short sentences.

    ‘Sources’ indeed.

  30. AnotherJen says:

    Maybe she’d rather pass on another “gift” iPod loaded with his speeches.

    • KB says:

      Lol at least he didn’t wink at her!

    • kori says:

      It was an iPod loaded with photos of her previous visit. The next gift was a leather embossed album of photos of her parents’ 1939 visit.

  31. Robin says:

    So how is inviting him to have lunch at Windsor Castle “refusing to have lunch with him”? She’s been a head of state for over 60 years. He’s been a head of state for under eight years, and won’t be one in a few months. She’s in her 90s, he’s in his 50s. She’s invited him to one of her most magnificent residences. He should be the one going to meet her, and that is what is happening, and I would bet that he is pleased and honored to have this invitation.

  32. wood dragon says:

    She’s a venerable old lady. Obama is unlikely to mind the side trip. They seem to get on well.

  33. Giddy says:

    I love the Queen. She reminds me of my great-aunt who had one of those pillows that said “If you have nothing good to say about anyone come sit by me.” My daughter-in-law gave me a favorite gift, the Solar Queen. It is a figure of the Queen with her arm raised to wave. When put in the sun the hand moves back and forth in the royal wave! It fits well into my fantasy life where the Queen and I are friends and she lets me try on her jewelry and tiaras!

  34. Lauren H. says:

    Just FYI, but the Queen wears matchy matchy outfits in order to stand out and be seen better. We wants to make sure the public can recognize her better in a crowd. She’s done this for decades now. It makes sense. She knows people want to see her and she’s just trying to make it easier for them. I’m sure she’s not so matchy matchy in private settings.

    • tigerlily says:

      And she always looks lovely. Reminds me of a time when hats, gloves and smart handbags were part of an outfit. I agree she dresses to be seen but the matchy-matchy is part of her generation-my mom is the same.

  35. CdnDutchGirl says:

    Story/tip courtesy of Workshy Wills and Dutchess Dolittle?

  36. Anare says:

    I want that pale blue hat the Queen is wearing. No idea when I would wear it but I want it! Love that color. Love that feather shooting straight up. Badass!

  37. Margo S. says:

    What a misery. Does she ever smile?

  38. cujokay says:

    Her “matchy-matchy” does not bother me in the least. She’s 90 years old; she’s not about to change her look by wearing a red hat with orange shoes or whatever.

    Hell I’m old school as well and if I’m wearing a navy suit my heels will be navy unless I’m wearing a nice accent color. If so I may wear heels the color of the accent. I would never wear a shoe that had NOTHING to do with my outfit. That’s just ME!

  39. Juniper says:

    What a nice, incendiary word “refuse” is. Though there are so many other ways to put it, of course the best headline is refuse. No honor among thieves.

  40. neato mosquito says:

    I can hear her as if I were there…

    “In my day, they sat at a different table… in the kitchen.”