It seems the relationship between the US and the UK has been escalated to an 'essential' one rather than a 'special' one. These words mean something.
This change in tone and description has upped the political posturing of our two nations at an important time - when the BRIC economies and nations strengthen, the middle east continues in its heated exchange amidst its crucial position in oil supply and whilst the western economies still (in the main) struggle to recover from the downturn.
The symbolism of the meeting between Obama and The Queen and of his 'talks' with David Cameron will be much debated and captured over the coming days.
In times when we are losing, rather than gaining power, maybe the change of THE word is a good thing?