Posted in Adventures in History
At Buckingham Palace, Lula, the president of Brazil in March 2006, the first lady Marisa Letícia and seven Brazilian ministers, among them the former Minister of Culture and talented artist Gilberto Gil, enjoyed, alongside Queen Elizabeth II, the three days of your official trip to the UK.
The meeting was organized to discuss the connections between Brazil and the English nation, in addition to the ‘good relations’ that dominated the international scene in 2006.
However, one of the most remembered factors of that state trip is the hospitality of the royal family – in addition to their positive feelings towards the former Brazilian leader.
The visit, which took place in March 2006, was also a moment of exchange of cultures and memories that, especially, Elizabeth II kept from Brazil, which the monarch visited in 1968.
In her conversations with Lula and his ministers, as reported by Estadão in a March 2006 report, the queen revealed one of her memories of the country.
When visiting the Royal Collection, coming across Brazilian pieces, visitors also witnessed a photo of the monarch next to Pelé and the player Gérson. The record was made at Maracanã, in 1968, when he handed over the championship cup to the São Paulo team, after winning against the Cariocas.
In addition, the queen also visited Bahia and won a medal from the Mangueira Samba School. In this episode, Elizabeth II had already met the Minister of Culture, at the time, Gilberto Gil. When Gil told that he remembered the monarch’s visit, the queen was surprised and stated that he was so young in 1968.
With 166 guests, the banquet in honor of Lula took place at Buckingham Palace and ended with an exchange of gifts between the heads of state.
The Brazilian received a pair of silver goblets and a jewelry box with Swiss pearls, and the British woman received a sculpture by the artist Zé Bento and five volumes on the works of Cândido Portinari.
The trip, however, was also a moment of anticipation for many who followed the episode, waiting to see if any of the leaders would broach the subject of Jean Charles Menezes. A Brazilian electrician who lived in the United Kingdom for years, Menezes was shot by the British police when he was mistaken for a terrorist.
At a time of great tension in the ‘war on terror’, the Brazilian’s death was a reflection of international fear. However, his murder in cold blood outraged Brazil, and certain sources pointed out that Elizabeth II would make an apology to then President Lula, as the Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay.
Even if the subject was not mentioned, terrorism was part of the former president’s speech during the main banquet with the monarchy.
In his speech, Lula pointed out that he was in contact with the prime minister, Tony Blair, at the time, and signaled possible agreements between the United Kingdom and Brazil.
“Prime Minister Blair and I are committed to unlocking multilateral trade negotiations. The successful conclusion of the Doha Round, with the realization of the lofty purposes of a genuine agenda for development, is a priority for the governments of Brazil and the United Kingdom. We are also joining forces in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and transnational crimes,” he said.
In the midst of her conversation with the Brazilian president at the time, Elizabeth II celebrated the presence of more and more Brazilians studying and visiting England, in addition to the British who visit Brazil. In response, Lula praised the UK’s hospitality and the opportunities the country offered in 2006.