Unlike some of our own politicians, American statesman have a high regard for The Queen and for knighthoods. That considerable historian Andrew Roberts confirmed this when he opened his diary in The Spectator (3/5) and included this :

“To Kennebunkport in Maine for lunch with President George H.W. and Barbara Bush, or ‘41 and Bar’ as they’re known to the other inhabitants of that beautiful clapboard village. Built in 1902 by his grandfather, the President’s house has superb views over the Atlantic ocean, and is decorated with elegantly understated New England aristocratic taste. Never has anyone so eminent put me at my ease so quickly, and we chatted happily about every conceivable — and one or two utterly inconceivable — subjects. Anyone who believes that for historical reasons America does not have a nobility should consider the case of 41 and Bar.

”After our lunch they generously invited me to Mabel’s, the local lobster shack, for dinner. It set alight my gout the next morning, as I guessed it might, but was well worth it.”

”When the conversation got round to England, the former president’s private secretary, the lovely Jean Becker, recalled seeing a sticky label attached to his last will and testament in the files. ‘If you are reading this I’m probably no longer around,’ it read. ‘So please can you make sure to return the collar of my GCB to Her Majesty the Queen.’ “