Bush escapes a royal roasting

In the days ahead of Prince Charles' visit to the White House it had been suggested the heir to the throne might get down to some straight talking with the President about the war in Iraq and global warming. It was even reported the Prince would encourage the President to try to better understand the central tenets of Islam.

In the end, as he was treated to celery and shrimp soup followed by medallions of buffalo, the Prince opted for a less confrontational approach. In a toast he gave at an official White House dinner on Wednesday night, the Prince noted "enormous challenges and responsibilities that faced the 43rd President of the United States". He added: "So many people throughout the world look to the United States for a lead on the most crucial issues that face our planet and indeed the lives of our grandchildren."

The comments were widely interpreted as a rejoinder to Mr Bush about his refusal to back the Kyoto treaty and his administration's unwillingness to tackle climate change.

Yesterday, Prince Charles and Camilla spent another day in Washington where the Duchess of Cornwall delivered a speech on osteoporosis at the National Institutes of Health.