The six women and men who’ve been UK prime ministers seldom combine collectively apart from solemn events corresponding to funerals and Remembrance Sunday.
The dinner to mark a century of prime ministers dwelling at Chequers this weekend will not be going to be the cheerful joint celebration which the mansion’s trustees had been hoping for.
Regardless of the tensions between them, all prime ministers have come to like the nation home that goes with the job.
The historical past
“This home of peace” was first given to the nation after the First World Battle by Lord Lees, considered one of Lloyd George’s ministers, and his wealthy American spouse explicitly for “the remainder and recreation of her prime ministers”.
For years Chequers was used for simply that – rest with its tennis court docket, rolling grounds and swimming pool and for the non-public leisure of cronies and political allies.
The eager artist Winston Churchill is alleged to have taken his brushes to “enhance” the depiction of a mouse on an oil portray by Rubens hanging on the wooden panelled partitions.
Margaret Thatcher normally spent Christmas there and appreciated to make use of visits to what she known as “Chequers church” for impromptu soundbites.
Mr Blair needed to get particular permission from the trustees to make use of the home for work: a TV interview after Labour accepted a £1m donation from Method One.
An invite to Chequers has grow to be the most important honour the prime minister can bestow on visiting overseas leaders.
Mr Blair held intimate conferences there with each President Invoice Clinton and his successor George W Bush.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel appreciated the Buckinghamshire countryside a lot she requested for a return go to. She then went for a ramble with Mr Cameron who ended up having to assist the chancellor climb over a barbed wire fence.
President Xi Jinping pulled a pint within the close by Plough pub and joked about shopping for it.
After one other lengthy Sunday lunch within the hostelry, the chillaxing Mr Cameron’s motorcade swept out leaving his young daughter Nancy behind.
Sir John typically tells how when he turned up with Boris Yeltsin earlier than opening time – the owner refused to imagine the Russian president was banging on the door.
Mrs Might did her finest to protect decorum when she entertained the unpredictable Donald Trump in the home and backyard.
The taxpayer contributes £916,000 a yr in the direction of the maintenance of Chequers and it’s primarily staffed by members of the armed forces.
However the prime minister has to pay for meals, drink and leisure themselves. A few of them, together with Mr Johnson, have complained about the price of enjoying the host.
Nonetheless, most prime ministers and their wives think about Chequers to be among the finest perks of the job. Sir John’s spouse Norma even wrote a e-book about it.
Her husband is not going however Dame Norma will probably be on the centenary dinner – maybe able to remind Mr Johnson and Mrs Might that Chequers is supposed to be a home of peace.