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Monday, May 07, 2007
White House prepares a 'royal dinner'

The White House is giving the queen a royal welcome.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A feast fit for royalty awaits Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Monday night, as President Bush and first lady Laura Bush break bread with America's strongest allies.

Mrs. Bush told the White House press corps this afternoon that the menu will feature American fare, but will also be complemented with several English farmhouse cheeses. She said the White House staff has been working for the past four days to put the finishing touches on the event that will be attended by 135 people. In the center of every table will feature a centerpiece with about 60 roses.

The Queen will sit to the President's right and former first lady Nancy Reagan will sit to his left. The Duke of Edinburgh will sit at Mrs. Bush's table.

Other guests will include the British ambassador, Chief Justice John Roberts, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, jockey Calvin Borel -- who won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott and Rep. David Dreier.

"I will tell you that we did have to talk the president into white tie, and he was not that -- Dr. Rice and I took it upon ourselves to talk him into it, because we thought if we were ever going to have a white tie event, this would be the one," the first lady said. "And so he was glad to wear a white tie."

Mrs. Bush also described Great Britain as a "staunch ally" and noted that this dinner is to show how much the U.S. appreciates the support.

The full menu for tonight's dinner will be:

Spring Pea Soup with Fernleaf Lavender

Chive Pizzelle with American Cavier
Newton Chardonnay "Unfiltered" 2004

Dover Sole Almondine
Roasted Artichokes, Pequillo Peppers and Olives Saddle of Spring Lamb Chanterelle Sauce Fricasse of Baby Vegetables Peter Michael "Les Pavots" 2003 Argula, Savannah Mustard and Mint Romaine Chapmagne Dressing and Trio of Farmhouse Cheese "Rose Blossoms"
Schramsberg Brut Rose 2004

-- CNN White House Producer Becky Brittain
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