Baby showers, icicle music and sauna time: How embassy parties have become the new K Street


The British ambassador’s residence in Washington is an impressive estate known for hosting events with coveted invite lists and well-connected guests. Among other things, it has been the site for the post-advance screening reception of the “Downton Abbey” movie and a garden party celebration of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee.

But in January, the “palatial” estate staged a social confab atypical for the world of international diplomacy. It was a baby shower. And the honoree was President Joe Biden’s niece, Missy Owens. The affair was complete with pink balloons and drapery and attended by top Democrats Valerie Biden Owens (the president’s sister and mother of Missy, who called it “a lovely day” in an email to POLITICO), Adrienne Elrod, Stephanie Cutter and Liz Allen, among others, according to two attendees.

It was a rarity for the embassy, which has interests of its own before the U.S. government including a potential free trade agreement between the U.K. and the United States. The embassy, as its spokesperson Samuel Heath noted, “holds a range of events, which have included afternoon teas, receptions and exhibitions, to showcase the UK but also to bring together friends of the Embassy.” Ahead of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday, it hosted a joint event Thursday at its residence with POLITICO.