In a party fit for…well, her, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip arrived at the British Embassy Monday to meet with a high-profile crowd of acquaintances and admirers.
Although most of the crowd at the embassy's garden party was American, one 6-foot-tall redheaded British woman and her husband stood out from the others.
It was none other than 2004 presidential contender and 2008 candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and his wife, Elizabeth.
"People in the crowd who were waiting, many of them gravitated toward Dennis and I," Kucinich explained, "and that paid off afterwards when the queen approached."
Kucinich said she was personally introduced to the queen by the British ambassador and was honored to curtsy before the heiress who has ruled England for over 55 years.
Cucumber Sandwiches and Champagne
Elizabeth Kucinich was born in England and has met the queen on two other occasions, most notably when Queen Elizabeth II made a surprise visit to Buckingham Palace after Princess Diana's death.
"I met (Queen Elizabeth II) the second time when I lined up for six hours in London after Princess Diana died. When I got to the front of the line to sign one of the memorial books, the queen showed up with Prince Philip, so that was an amazing coincidence," Kucinich said.
Kucinich's first interaction with the queen was better planned.
Ten years ago, Kucinich volunteered to bus bishops around a Buckingham Palace garden party.
"The queen called it her 'purple party' because all of the bishops wear purple," Kucinich explained with a laugh.
Garden party etiquette is well known in England but Americans aren't accustomed to the British tradition where guests curtsy before the queen and munch on cucumber sandwiches while sipping champagne.
Kucinich said many people looked nervous and weren't used to British traditions or cucumber sandwiches.
"There wasn't anybody explaining protocol…there were lots of people shaking her hand. It was very casual," Kucinich explained.
No Place Like Home
In her third audience with the queen, Kucinich noted the queen's strength, grace and the endurance of her reign.
"She is still going and she looked very good and very vital. She reminded me of my grandmother who is of a similar age, and indeed after meeting the queen, I immediately rang my grandmother and I told her and it made her very happy," Kucinich said.
Kucinich continued to explain, "I admire strong women. She has done our country a great service, and she has done Britain a great service. She does a lot for charity and leadership that doesn't necessarily get recognized."
The British-born American also related the queen's visit to her relationship with her American husband.
"I found it was interesting the relationship America has with Britain -- and Dennis' and my relationship obviously embodies something very special which I hope is more symbolic of that," Kucinich said.
After the last champagne glass clink at the embassy, the garden party ended and the queen moved on to her next party.
Kucinich, hoping to soon represent the United States as its first lady, said the day gave her a "feeling of home" in a country many miles and an ocean away.