Prime Minister Trudeau also made reference to the presence of his own mother at the state dinner held in his honor by the Obamas, and pointed out that she had been at a 1977 state dinner where President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter had honored her and her husband Pierre Trudeau.
Whether or not the current Prime Minister was aware of the fact, that also attending that 1977 state dinner honoring his father was another First Daughter, in fact the youngest one ever known to appear as a guest and with an unusual degree of controversy.
One of the youngest children to ever live in the White House, Amy Carter was only 9 years old when her father was inaugurated President.
Just weeks into his administration, as her parents hosted the February 21, 1977 state dinner for Pierre Trudeau, guests were initially startled to see their small daughter quietly slip over to a table where a seat was reserved for her, and downright shocked when they watched her calmly pull out two books that she brought to the table. As the event got underway, guests kept glancing at the First Daughter.
She did not look up at them, her head down as she became engrossed in reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and The Story of the Gettysburg Address while the formal toasts by her father and Trudeau were exchanged.
Her appearance generated a bit of controversy. Some foreign guests considered it insulting to foreign countries to have a host presidential daughter ignore what their leader was saying. One U.S. Senator reportedly tried to encourage her to eat the spinach on her china plate, to no avail.
Columnist Art Buchwald penned a witty commentary on the incident:
Amy Carter attended what seems to have been her last state dinner hosted by her parents, on December 17, 1979, for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but it is unclear whether she read any books during the course of dinner.
Most unique, however, in the most recent state dinner where First Daughters were in attendance was the public acknowledgement of the unique existences they live out.
As Prime Minister Trudeau stated about Malia and Sasha Obama:
“It’s also touching to meet Malia and Sasha, who are here at their first state dinner, and quite frankly the memories for me of being a kid and not being old enough to attend these kinds of events with my father almost makes we wish I had gone through my teenage years as a child of a world leader, but not quite. I admire you very much, both of you, for your extraordinary strength and your grace through what is a remarkable childhood and young adulthood that will give you extraordinary strength and wisdom beyond your years for the rest of your life. The one thing you have received from your extraordinary parents is the tools to be able to handle the challenges and the opportunities in front of you. So thank you very much for joining us tonight.”