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Ambassadors lining up to pay their respects at President George H.W. Bush's funeral knew the routine: They would be called in order of seniority, a well-established system in which everyone knew where they belonged.

Until they didn't.

The European Union's ambassador to the US, David O'Sullivan, normally among the first 30 foreign envoys to be seated, watched as almost every other ambassador to the US took a seat, leaving him among the last to be called.

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