From Downton to the White House: Hugh may be coming to dinner

Diary: The US visit

Glittering the White House dinner will be, but what stars will be there?

Well, leaders of both political parties on Capitol Hill, of course, ambassadors from nations deemed worthy – the Syrian embassy presumably is still checking the post for the invitation that went missing. And stars.

To reflect the astounding success in the US of the TV series Downton Abbey, Hugh Bonneville is said to be on the guest list. Sir Jonathan Ive – Apple's British design supremo – is said to be attending, too, along with Damian Lewis, the British actor who shone as a US special ops soldier sprung from prison in Iraq in the Showtime hit, Homeland. Impressive? Attendees at a White House dinner for Tony Blair in 1998 included Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand.

What's in an invitation?

Pedantry moment. Though tonight's gala affair at the White House in honour of the Camerons has been widely termed a "State Dinner", the purists say that's not quite right. Those are reserved for visiting heads of state, and, well, that would be the Queen. It sounds less grand but is this merely an "Official Dinner"?

Not according to the State Department, which says it qualifies for the "State" moniker because the President will be the host. And, well, he can call it what the heck he likes.

Boys' rules apply courtside

They may be preparing to dress for dinner tonight, but last night it was all dressed down for Dayton and the basketball arena. As he climbed out of an SUV with Barack Obama at the Elipse, just south of the White House, to board Marine One, the presidential helicopter and their ride to Andrew Air Force Base and the awaiting Air Force One jumbo, Mr Cameron sported a black shirt with long sleeves and blue jeans while Mr Obama was in his usual weekend garb of a blue and white checkered shirt and easy trousers. A boys' night out? So it seems. Michelle Obama or Samantha Cameron were ditched to fend for themselves in Washington.

 

Games on menu for the ladies

Rather than leave her in the formal guest accommodations at Blair House just north of the White House, Mrs Obama had Mrs Cameron over for a little dinner à deux. The conversation was thought to have turned quickly to London and the Olympic Games, when it will be the First Lady who leads the US sporting delegation, not the President.

Perhaps a more refined affair than the boys – the vitals at the Dayton game for the two leaders of the free world consisted primarily of frankfurters.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas