Her majesty insisted President Obama bring no more than three choppers to her 90th birthday celebration.
After his entourage of twelve helicopters ruined the grass in Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle gardens during a 2011 visit, the Obama administration’s attempts to bring an extensive security detail were no match for the Queen’s insistence.
The Queen called President Obama’s entourage “over the top,” and refused to yield in her scaled back security demands.
According to the Deccan Herald:
The Queen called Obama’s bevy of choppers “over the top”, meaning the Secret Service had to rethink their plans to land about six aircraft in the 300-year-old gardens of her main residence.
“It was a write-off and the Queen was not amused,” ‘Daily Express’ quoted a royal source as saying.
“Her Majesty refused to back down and said, ‘three helicopters only’. The Secret Service had to go away and think about their plan. The President’s officials were told that the Queen regarded Windsor Castle as her family home and the most important of all royal residences,” the report said.
“She rarely imposes her will but when she does people listen – it just took the US Secret Service agents a little time to realise that,” the source said.
The Queen, whose 90th birthday was celebrated recently, said there was no chance Obama’s extensive security backup would be accompanying him to Windsor Castle.
Her insistence came after Obama’s helicopters damaged the grass when half a dozen of them landed during his last visit in 2011.
The engines’ heat scorched the grounds and the wheels left divots in one of the UK’s oldest lawns, planted during the reign of Queen Anne in the early 1700s.
The Queen said only three helicopters, including the president’s personal aircraft Marine One, could land on the lawn when Obama, 54, and his wife, Michelle, 52, came for dinner with the monarch and Prince Philip to celebrate her 90th birthday, the report said.
An insider said US aides refused to change their plans on security grounds but came around to the Queen’s wishes eventually.
There’s a joke about the Revolutionary War and British subjugation in here somewhere.
But the lesson is clear — a woman never forgets a man whose vanity destroyed her garden.
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