16 JUNE 2008

George Bush got a fascinating lesson in British history when he was a guest of the Queen at Windsor Castle this weekend. After a traditional English tea of sandwiches and cakes, the US leader and his wife Laura toured the state apartments at the royal family's residence.

Starting in St George's Hall, the ornate 15-century reception room which was restored at a cost of £37 million after the fire of 1992, the royal party viewed suits of armour and pictures of past sovereigns.

The Queen attentively pointed out interesting features, such as the shields of the Garter Knights, on the ceiling.

Then the Bushes viewed the Green Drawing Room, the home to an exhibition of letters and pictures relating to previous visits of US presidents to Britain and tours made by the monarch and her father to America.

In the evening the educational trip continued, as the presidential couple moved on to Downing Sreet for dinner with Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Among guests joining them for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding were a number of leading historians with expertise on topics such as the Second World War and the Tudors and Stuarts.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The monarch shows the US leader and his wife a suit of armour that once belonged to Henry VIII Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Mr Bush had expressed an interest in learning more about the UK's past so Windsor Castle, which has been home to kings and queens for 900 years, was the perfect venue for his stay Photo: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
He is the only American president - apart from Ronald Reagan - to be invited to the Queen's country residence rather than Buckingham Palace Photo: © Getty Images