President Bush was puzzled by the toast but delighted by a surprise musical tribute at Queen Elizabeth's state dinner in his honor at the British Embassy. It was the premiere of the "Desert Storm" march, played on bagpipe.
Bush and more than 100 other guests at the candlelight dinner Thursday night were serenaded by four kilted Scottish pipers of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.Pipe Sgt. J.C.W. Motherwell then stepped forward to play a solo tribute to Bush for the allied military triumph in the Persian Gulf war. Motherwell had composed the "Desert Storm" march while serving with British forces in Northern Ireland.
Motherwell marched past the guests to Bush's table, gave him a leather-bound copy of the musical score, saluted and offered an ancient Gaelic toast - "Slainte do'n Bhanrich, Slainte Dhuibh Uile Gu Leier" ("Health to the queen, health to one and all.")
Bush, standing next to the queen, returned the salute and accepted the score with a smile. But he shook his head in bewilderment at the unfamiliar toast, and the guests erupted in polite laughter.
The queen and the president exchanged champagne toasts after the dinner, which was closed to reporters. Guests dined on smoked salmon and caviar, roast duckling with cherry sauce and poached pears doused with chocolate sauce and raspberry cream.
As soon as the Bushes returned to the White House, they took their English springer spaniels, Millie and Ranger, for a late-evening stroll around the darkened South Lawn.