Just days after seeing his elder son married off, Britain's Prince Charles paid a visit to D.C. today, including a stop at the Supreme Court. Not surprisingly, the visit caused quite a stir at the usually quiet quarters of the nation's highest court.
Justice Stephen Breyer, virtually unrecognized by the international media on hand, met the prince at curbside in front of the Court this afternoon. They walked into the Court building on the ground floor, not up the marble steps, which have been closed for entry since last year -- much to Breyer's displeasure. An hour later at the end of the visit, however, the two walked down the steps, which are still used for exiting the building. Prince Charles shook hands with a crowd of tourists in front of the Court as he was leaving.
So why the Supreme Court? Prince Charles came to attend a reception there for the alumni of the Marshall Scholars program -- and that's named after World War II Gen. George C. Marshall, not John or Thurgood Marshall. Since it was created by an act of Parliament in 1953, the program has sent more than 1,000 top U.S. students to universities in the United Kingdom for a year or more to promote lasting ties between future British and American leaders.
And why was the event at the Court, with Breyer the greeter? Breyer is one of the best-known alumni of the Marshall Scholars program. (Other notable Marshall scholars from the legal world include State Department legal adviser Harold Koh and former Stanford Law School dean Kathleen Sullivan.)
At a 2008 event for the program, Breyer said that his year as a Marshall scholar in 1959 at Oxford University's Magdalen College helped him understand that "the individual's struggle to lead a decent, civilized life began long before our own country was born."
Photos by Diego Radzinschi