British Political Leaders Are Just Like Us

Well, sort of: The Daily Mail zooms in on the First Lady's visit to the Camerons' house

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A White House photographer caught First Lady Michelle Obama chatting with Samantha Cameron, the wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, at the Camerons' private residence at Downing Street on Tuesday. But, according to The Daily Mail, the photographer captured much more than that. It turns out that the Camerons, despite their considerable wealth and power, are just like us! By zooming in on the picture above (which you can see in all its glorious detail on The Daily Mail's site), the paper was able to spot a number of items that we might very well find in our own homes:

  • A cheap black Ikea Leksvig bookcase
  • William Shakespeare's complete works
  • A Panasonic microwave "with the bottle steriliser and a £2.45 blue plastic Tommee Tippee baby cup resting on top marking this out as a family home"
  • Phillips flatscreen TV
  • An DVD collection that includes box sets of 24, Desperate Housewives, and Star Wars, plus Armageddon, The Departed, Goodfellas, Kill Bill, and SpongeBob SquarePants (for the kids, we suppose)

Of course, The Daily Mail also noticed things that most of us don't possess. The Camerons, for instance, seem to have a soft spot for gadgets (they have two iPads), fancy kitchen gadgets (their $700 Rancilio espresso machine is "regarded as the gold standard for coffee lovers" and their $6,000 Britannia Sigma range oven is "said to be one of the finest on offer"). And how many of us have our "gleaming professional standard All-Clad" saucepans "perfectly aligned, their handles pointing at identical angles" or our "sparkling glasses" arranged "neatly in descending height order?"

The Daily Mail isn't the only news outlet fixating on the picture. Rik Henderson at the blog Pocket-Lint wonders how a prime minister who's trying to improve the U.K.'s technology infrastructure has a first-generation iPad and only one Blu-ray (Band of Brothers, if you're interested), while Oliver Jones at Asylum concludes that the apartment is "full of the predictable dreck of success, a Nespresso machine, iPads, a Sky + HD box." The Mirror, meanwhile, is crowdsourcing the photographic scavenger hunt, asking readers, "Can you spot any other DVD titles or books in the picture?"

We're a bit concerned, however, about where the Camerons will find space in their immaculate apartment for all the gifts they just received from the President and the First Lady. According to the White House pool report, the Obamas gave the Prime Minister a pair of White House Magnolia wood and sterling silver cufflinks engraved with the President's signature and a first edition of President Kennedy's Profiles in Courage. Mrs. Cameron received a sterling silver cuff bracelet with a White House Magnolia wood cabochon center and the Cameron children got a signed copy of Obama's children's book Of Thee I Singtoy scooters, and a wooden jigsaw puzzle and stuffed animal of the First Family's dog, Bo. Will the Prime Minister prefer Kennedy to Shakespeare? Will the kids stop watching SpongeBob for long enough to assemble the puzzle? If only the White House photographer would return in a week or so.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.