|Trump At Blenheim
||[Jul. 13th, 2018|09:04 am]
I suppose they used Blenheim because it's not owned by the Queen or the State and Donald Trump's visit is not- repeat NOT- a state visit- but really they should use it more often because it's very much grander than Buckingham Palace. Built in 1703 for the first Duke of Marlborough in recognition of his having put Louis XIV in his place, it represents the very apogee of English baroque (architects Vanburgh and Hawksmoor) and even if you don't greatly like the style (and I don't) you can't help but be impressed by it. Just as Marlborough trounced Louis on several European battlefields so his palace trounces Louis's country retreat at Versailles- not in scale (because Blenheim is smaller) but in sheer bloody-minded artistic self-confidence. If you want to render your ego in stone and bequeath it to futurity this is absolutely the way to do it. Perhaps Donald will be taking notes.|
Even though it wasn't- absolutely WASN'T- a state visit the hosts had laid on a military marching band in red coats and busbies and a troop of trumpeters in tabards. There were no cheering crowds, no flags, just a silent reception committee consisting of Theresa May and her hubby and a phalanx of CEOs in evening dress. Jon Snow who was commentating for Channel 4 couldn't contain his glee at the combination of grandeur and absurdity. "Good old Donald" he burbled, in mockery tinged with delight. As always with Trump, things were being done- differently.