Washington -- The invitation says "Dress: Black Tie with Decorations." Given Governor William Donald Schaefer's fondness for fanciful dressing -- his gold-trimmed admiral's uniform was indeed memorable -- it's anyone's guess what medals, ribbons or flourishes Hizzoner will dig out to meet Her Majesty.
The royal occasion? Governor Schaefer and companion Hilda Mae Snoops are among those invited to a dinner at the British Embassy hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during their four-day state visit to Washington later this month.
"He's both honored and thrilled," says the governor's press secretary Paul E. Schurick.
Baltimore baseball is likely to be one topic of conversation among Governor Schaefer and the monarchs: The May 16 dinner takes place the night after the queen's outing to Memorial Stadium, where she and Prince Philip are scheduled to watch part of a game between the Orioles and the Oakland Athletics.
It's the queen's first baseball game and "should be an interesting event," notes Orioles owner Eli Jacobs, who will play host to the visiting monarchs in his box.
Queen Elizabeth will arrive in Washington by Concorde for the state visit, her third here, on May 14. That night she is to be honored with a state dinner at the White House, an honor she will return to President Bush two nights later at the embassy.
Aside from the baseball game, the state visit includes another first. The queen is to address a joint meeting of Congress, the first time a British monarch has spoken before members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Other highlights of the trip include a visit to Mount Vernon, Va.; a garden party hosted by the queen and her husband; a visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library and Elizabethan Theatre, and a lunch in the newly restored Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress to celebrate the Festival of British Film and Television going on throughout the state visit. Guests will include director Sir Richard Attenborough and author Sir David Attenborough.
After the state visit, the royal party continues on to Florida, where they'll meet with Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf at MacDill Air Force Base (a London columnist reports that the Queen will bestow an honorary knighthood on the Desert Storm commander), and then spend several days traveling throughout Texas. On May 23, the queen heads for a private weekend in Kentucky horse country while her husband returns to London.