National Geographic : 1961 Jan
most newspaper editions, and the responsible official ruefully noted that his blooper had gone around the world. President and Mrs. Eisenhower have enter tained more royalty and heads of state than any other couple in the White House. Among their guests have been Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; the Presidents of Panama, Haiti, Turkey, Italy, and Ireland; the rulers of Greece, Nepal, and Denmark. It is a heartwarming indication of inter national friendship that many of the royal visitors to the White House represent return calls and continuing generations. Like Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Denmark's King Frederik IX and his Queen Ingrid knew the house as the young couple of a fairy-tale romance. When Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands lunched with the Eisenhowers in 1959, she followed in the steps of her mother Queen Juliana, and grandmother Wilhelmina. White House protocol has often raised storms in teacups. But most questions of precedence for high-ranking guests have now been solved by custom and common sense. When the President entertains foreign guests, the State Department sends the White House the list by rank, along with hints on food preferences and any religious taboos. Coptic Christians, for instance, were not permitted to eat meat on the Wednesday that Emperor Haile Selassie and his party dined with the Eisenhowers. So the First Lady made up her dinner menu accordingly. I asked to see it, and found listed melon balls, water-cress soup, fish, vegetables, nuts, candies, and demitasse. Hostesses at the White House have played (Continued on page 32) HROMEBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERB. ANTHONYSTEWART© N.G.S.