Europe: 1815 & All That

What is history but a fable agreed upon?

—Napoleon Bonaparte It was the sort of pomp and circumstance that Britons do so awfully well. In Whitehall's Inigo Jones Banqueting Hall, Queen Elizabeth II last week dined formally with 250 guests off the regimental silver of the 35 regiments that, with Marshal Blücher's Prussians, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Afterward Defense Minister Denis Healey and the ambassadors of The Netherlands, Belgium and West Germany watched 1,200 soldiers from those regiments march under floodlights.

Conspicuously absent was the French ambassador, who obviously reflected the pique of Charles de Gaulle. The banquet was in honor...

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