American First Lady Laura Bush today rejected claims that her daughter Barbara had worn jeans to meet the Queen.
The President wife’s told an American television programme that Barbara, 19, had ‘‘of course’’ worn a skirt when she met the royal family at Buckingham Palace.
Her husband, George W Bush, is said to insist that women wear skirts and men wear suits to enter the Oval Office, where American presidents conduct their day-to-day work.
Today Mrs Bush told American news channel MSNBC: ‘‘She didn’t wear jeans. I just want to say she did not wear jeans, of course she wore a skirt to meet the Queen of England.’’
Barbara, who last month was fined and ordered to do community service after being convicted of underage drinking in Texas, where the legal drinking age is 21, met the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Andrew at the palace.
She shook hands with all three but did not join her parents at a lunch held by the Queen in their honour, dining instead with senior White House officials and courtiers in another room.
And in her first public admission of the difficulties which have plagued her family since her husband became president Mrs Bush said it had been ‘‘very hard’’ for Barbara and her twin sister Jenna to adjust to life in the public eye.
This month Jenna had her driving licence suspended and was fined for her second underage drinking conviction and is one drink away from facing prison under tough three-strikes-and-you’re-out laws in Texas, which were implemented by her father.
Both girls reportedly told their father they did not want him to run for the presidency because of the effect it would have on their lives before he took on Al Gore last year.
Mrs Bush told the programme: ‘‘Of course it has been very hard for them, I think.
‘‘I think Americans in general realise the children of any famous person, not just the president, but especially the president, deserve privacy.
‘‘I really believe that the American people think that our daughters, just like their own children, should have the opportunity to have a private life.’’