When Black Tie Becomes an Insult


President Reagan’s protocol staff has insulted Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev by insisting that he wear a black tie (dinner jacket) at a summit banquet, Britain’s leading etiquette expert said today.

Harold Brooks-Baker of Burke’s Peerage, a guide to the British aristocracy, told reporters it was an insult to mark “black tie” on invitations because international custom requires the guest of honor to be given the choice of dress.

Reagan will be the Kremlin leader’s host at a White House banquet on Tuesday during the historic U.S.-Soviet summit meeting in Washington.