Political Coup

One day during a summit meeting of Foreign Secretaries in the 1950s, Ernest Bevin, Nikita Khrushchev and Georges Bidault found themselves relaxing over a drink. Bevin removed an elegant gold watch from his pocket and consulted it. "To Ernest Bevin," its inscription read, "in memory of forty years devoted to the Docker's Union." Georges Bidault, not to be outdone, promptly produced his watch, which was inscribed, "Pour Georges, de la part de ses parents, a l'occasion de sa majorite, 1920."

Though Khrushchev appeared embarrassed, the others insisted that he, too, show his watch. It turned out to be a slim Cartier of considerable elegance which he began to twirl it on its chain. When the others insisted on examining it closer, however, he was forced to hand it over. Its inscription? "To His Imperial Highness, The Grand Duke Constantine, from his fellow members at the Hurlingham Polo Club, 1913."

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