account
Sauer took the wives of other national leaders [at the G8 conference] on a tour of cultural and historical sites along the northern German coastline....

After the group arrived in helicopters, Sauer led the wives on a short walk to the castle entrance and his first dreaded moment of the day: a group photo opportunity.

His guests tried hard to cheer him up. Cherie Blair, wife of outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair, pecked him on both cheeks and whispered a joke that made him briefly smile. When he tried to hide behind Laura Bush during the photo shoot, Canadian first lady Laureen Harper intervened. "You've got to get in the middle. That's the rule!" she ordered.

Wearing a light checked sport coat but no tie on a hot day, Sauer suffered the indignity for about two minutes. "So, thank you very much," he declared in English, a cue to the spouses to follow him inside. A bevy of German photographers pleaded with him to pause on the top step and turn to face their cameras, but he blithely ignored them without a word.
--Keelin McDonell