1971: German Diplomats Pissed off by Edward Kennedy’s Tardiness

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BONN, April 22 (NYT).— “Your Teddy Kennedy is a rube,” a senior protocol officer of the Bonn authorities mentioned not too long ago to an American acquaintance. The phrase he used means turnip in Germany. However it is usually the slang equal of rapscallion. He didn’t imply it kindly.

The diplomat was referring to the happenings final week when Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D., Mass., and his spouse, Joan, descended on the federal capital with an entourage of greater than 100, together with the Boston Pops Orchestra.

What irritated the protocol official and practically everybody else who had something to do with the Kennedys right here was their behavior of displaying up late for each appointment.

The Germans on this century haven’t loved a status overseas for good manners however one level of etiquette that they rigorously observe is punctuality.

So it was that Kennedy tardiness made a nasty impression, not solely on their official hosts but in addition on the German press.

The event was a profit live performance at Beethoven Corridor, with Mrs. Kennedy because the reader within the Pops Orchestra’s efficiency of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

A critic for Die Welt of Hamburg mentioned that she had finished the job “with the voice of a long-suffering newscaster.”

The ready for the Kennedys in Germany started in Hamburg, the place Mrs. Kennedy slept by way of a reception deliberate for her. It continued in Bonn on the city corridor, the place she stored Mayor Peter Kramer and his fireplace division band ready 40 minutes till she confirmed up in blue denims.

In the meantime, Sen. Kennedy was late for an appointment with Chancellery Minister Horst Ehmke, who stood for half an hour with rising impatience on the steps of Schaumberg Palace to greet him.

Collectively, the Kennedys confirmed up an hour late for a cocktail get together given by the U.S. ambassador, Kenneth Rush, at his residence in Dangerous Godesberg.

Enjoying no favorites, they went on to seem 90 minutes late at one other reception in suburban Rolansdeck. The host, Helmut Kohl, minister president of Rhineland-Palatinate, mentioned considerably stonily: “Kennedys had been all the time welcome right here, and that’s no totally different immediately.”

In the meantime, International Minister Walter Scheel was ready to present the Kennedys one thing to eat. He waited two hours.

Topping all of it off, Mrs. Kennedy confirmed up late for the live performance.

An American diplomat tried to appease the Germans with the reason that tardiness was “customary and deliberate” by the Kennedys as a method of accelerating the anticipation of their audiences.

There was just one German comfort prize for Sen. Kennedy. Bonn’s main seeress, a Gypsy named Margarete Gussantier, who calls herself Buchela, predicted: “You may be President of America, however not but.”

He’s reported as having replied: “I’ve time.”

— The Worldwide Herald Tribune, Apr. 23, 1971.

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