14 July 1961 Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, attended a reception in honor of the man called “the Columbus of the space age”.
Probably, last there were such moments, when major Yuri Gagarin would have preferred to be in the space alone. Especially last night at a reception at the hotel Hyde Park Hotel, organized by the Association “great Britain — Soviet Union”. It unexpectedly appeared Mr. McMillan — before he had met major Gagarin and called him “charismatic,” and Lord Hume, and almost all members of the Cabinet of Ministers. Admiring guests — there were about 500 — have not experienced any restrictions from the police and treated with a small body of the guest of honor, rather as with the ball during contractions when playing Rugby. Crowding the enthusiasm attending the reception was overwhelming and, to put it mildly, carelessly on this warm evening at the end of a very long day. Major Gagarin under hands was brought to another room in order to even get in some air, and at 19:30 he left the event half an hour before its official end.
He then had to attend the dinner at the Dorchester hotel, which was arranged in his honor by the British businessmen, however, he asked his pardon and returned to the Russian Embassy. The official representative of the Soviet exhibition said that major Gagarin, of course, wanted to rest before today’s lunch with the Queen.
However, later that evening, major Gagarin came from the Embassy in civilian clothes for a half-hour exploring the sights of the city. One of the employees of the Embassy said, “Mr. Gagarin is sleeping now. I guess he’s just a little walk around the West End, Central London and looked at the lighting, but, actually, I can tell you for sure”.
I Remember Lindbergh
It was a day of triumph. Although dubious of the London weather forced the astronaut to remain inside a closed car in black, London raged everywhere where he appeared, his warmly and spontaneously welcomed — it was something extraordinary. Some people in the crowd said that it reminded them a visit Lindbergh — a brave and nice man from abroad. Whatever the limitations of Protocol character was introduced at the London airport on Tuesday, thousands of Londoners and visitors to the British capital took matters into their own hands and gave that low of a smiling man accepting that, in their opinion, were worthy of Columbus of the space age.
Yesterday, he visited the residence of the mayor of London and the tower, had Breakfast at the Royal society, paid a visit to the Prime Minister, visited the Ministry of aviation, visited the Society for cultural relations with the Soviet Union and attended the reception at the hotel Hyde Park Hotel.
Last night mayor Gagarin spent about a quarter of an hour with the Prime Minister in Admiralty house. Closed car spoiled the view for many a respectable public servants gathered at the Windows on the upper floors of a government building opposite the Admiralty at home, but the car was moving slowly enough for the constantly increasing crowds of people, many of whom were foreign tourists — they were acquainted with the sights of the city, and in addition received an exquisite gift and could see the waving and the smiling major. “He’s very, very nice, just like on TV” — was the comment strolling and sipping tea girls from nearby institutions.