“We British Have Nothing To Hide!”

We British Have Nothing To Hide, by Tyler Rust     HISTORYDOJO

A “Special Relationship”

The recent visit to the United Kingdom by President Trump has brought to mind the “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Since World War Two these two nations have been the closest of allies, in trade, in diplomacy and in military security. There has not been any major break between them in nearly eighty years on any subject in international relations of any substantive weight or matter.

The recent undiplomatic criticism of Prime Minister Theresa May by President Donald Trump is unfortunate by not unique. Other presidents have breached protocol in other ways.

Officially a “no-no”

Does anyone recall when Michelle Obama had the audacity to put her arm around the Queen of England?

(This is probably not that outrageous, unless you are of the mindset that the person of the Queen is somehow so special that she is literally untouchable. )

In history, breaches of diplomatic protocol are not always significant, but they can be entertaining.

No other British Prime Minister was so entertaining as Winston Churchill, of course. It is not a requirement that Prime Ministers be entertaining, of course, and many British leaders have excelled in being uninteresting.

Once, according to The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, when Churchill was visiting the White House, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wheeled himself along to the British Prime Minister’s bedroom and opened the door unexpectedly.

Churchil and FDR
FDR and Winston: Besties

This was of course during the Second World War, when meetings between the two leaders were fraught with epic importance and matters of life and death.

It is interesting to imagine that FDR and Churchill were bunking together in the White House, just doors apart inside the second floor presidential residence.

Imagine FDR, in his wheelchair, with his iconic cigarette holder clenched between his teeth, wheeling himself down the famous red carpet hallway to tell something to his amicable guest.

Nothing To Hide

Throwing open the door FDR was stunned to find Churchill standing in the middle of the room, stark naked!

(It seems almost impossible to put Trump and Theresa May in this same situation! Or is it…)

There in his birthday suit stood one of the most important men of the Twentieth Century. FDR must have dropped his cigarette out of sheer surprise, too stunned to form the apology that must have surely been forthcoming.

Churchill, unfazed by the rude interruption, said, “Come in! You see, Mr. President, we British have nothing to hide!”

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Author: historydojo

I’m a National Board Certified Teacher with nearly twenty years of experience teaching high school history. I blog about teaching, history, current events, the law and social justice.

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