The Emperor’s wife wears new clothes. Hair piled high, Peng Liyuan, accompanying President Xi Jinping on his first tours of state (four states – Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, Congo – toured in as many days), wears a tailored suit made of Chinese brocade. Underneath, a ruffled blue blouse; more Adam Ant than Madame Mao. Graciously the former folk singer bends forward to embrace the little black boy sent to bow before her on the red carpet at Dar Es Salaam airport (ruddy, muddy floodwater is running riot through other parts of the city). In scarlet tunics with gold insignia, troopers in Tanzania’s top brass band are playing marches that Queen Victoria might have heard more than a hundred years ago. (Though not here in Africa. With gunboats to perform her diplomacy, the Great Queen herself never traveled south of Italy.) Meanwhile a chain gang of Cypriot ministers hurriedly disembarks from the Belgian Air Force plane bringing them to Brussels for bail-out. Discreetly ducking their heads into a fleet of waiting limos. Mercedes, inevitably. Made solemn by German probity; having laughed up to now on Russia’s funny money, they are captivated by Empire EU – just as surely as captured terrorists.