Savvy people know that after you have enjoyed the hospitality at a dinner party, the proper thing to do is to write a thank-you note to the hostess (or host is there wasn't a hostess). But, what if you are invited to the White House for a State Dinner? Do you send a thank-you note to the President? to Mrs. Bush? Do you send a thank-you at all?
Too often a dinner party is held and the guests have a marvelous time, enjoying the food, entertainment, enticing conversation and then go home and tell everyone what a great time they had. Why would anyone think that the host or hostess wouldn't want to hear that? If you were the host, would you not want your guests to express their appreciation of the event and their involvement? I dare say that you would. BUT, it would be my guess that the guest of honor and escort (in this case, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip) may be the only ones to send a thank-you.
If you have been a host, you know that there is a great deal of work involved in executing a simple dinner party. Imagine having to execute a white-tie affair. If I had been lucky enough to have been invited, I would have sent a messenger (I live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area) with my handwritten appreciation to the First Lady and to the Office of the Social Secretary of the White House this morning - first thing. A lot of work and worry went into staging such a lovely evening and while the gratitude of the guests as they left is nice, nothing beats knowing that at least one guest appreciated the efforts enough to put pen to paper.