American Notes: The Palace Guard

As Britain's Prime Minister Harold Wilson arrived at the south portico of the White House last week, he may have had a fleeting fancy that he had come to a banana republic or a Balkan kingdom. On hand to greet him were a squad of White House guards caparisoned in Graustarkian dress uniforms festooned with gold braid and nipped at the waist with black leather gunbelts. The black vinyl hats trimmed in gold suggested, by turns, a Ruritanian palace guard, a Belgian customs inspector, and Prince Danilo in The Merry Widow.

The President was impressed during his European tour last...

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