Yankee Doodle is dandied!
United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps perform at all armed-forces arrival ceremonies for visiting dignitaries and heads of state.
March 12th, 2012
06:04 PM ET

Yankee Doodle is dandied!

Washington (CNN) –With all the pomp and circumstance of a royal event, President Obama officially welcomes British Prime Minister David Cameron to the White House Wednesday.

But don't expect those fifes and drums to be playing the standard welcome "Yankee Doodle".

It seems that's a little too reminiscent of our past relationship with the Brits.  Although the United States and Great Britain are today the closest of allies, it was only two hundred plus years ago we brash Americans were fighting for our freedom from the British monarchy.

The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps which performs at all armed-forces arrival ceremonies for visiting dignitaries and heads of state at the White House always play "Yankee Doodle." It's a tradition according to one member of the corps. That is except when the visiting dignitaries are from our former enemy nation Great Brittain.  A member of the corps told CNN for those occasions they play an alternate piece of music, "British Grenadiers."  Checkmate diplomacy!

With additional reporting from CNN’s Chandler Friedman

The British are coming! But is it a state visit?
March 12th, 2012
11:22 AM ET

The British are coming! But is it a state visit?

Washington (CNN) –Washington is rolling out the red carpet this week as Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive Tuesday for an "official" visit culminated by a State Dinner at the White House.

But wait. Why is the British PM's visit merely "offficial" and not a "state" visit to match the state dinner in his honor? Simple Washington double-speak it turns out. Cameron is Britain's Prime Minister and is not the head of his country. That's Queen Elizabeth.

"It's really just terminology," Caitlin Hayden, Deputy National Security Council spokesman told CNN in an email.

Hayden said state visits are reserved for the "head of state" like Queen Elizabeth and "official visits" are for the head of government like Mr. Cameron. But she says they both get the same perks with one minor exception. FULL POST