Obama Visits England
President Barack Obama Visits England
On Monday the Queen greeted US President Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle, at the start of his first UK state visit.
The Obamas also met Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and spent 20 minutes with newlyweds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
They have laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey and will attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
Mr Obama arrived in the UK a day ahead of schedule on Monday, to avoid any disruption from a volcanic ash cloud.
The president flew into Stansted, in Essex, with wife Michelle after leaving the Republic of Ireland, where his week-long tour of Europe began.
The couple spent the night at US ambassador's residence Winfield House, in London's Regent's Park.
After the president was welcomed there by Prince Charles and his wife, his cavalcade made its way to Buckingham Palace where he joined the Queen.
There was a ceremonial welcome on the lawn of Buckingham Palace, where the president received a 41-gun salute and joined the Duke of Edinburgh to inspect a Guard of Honour.
He then had a private lunch with the Queen and other guests, including the Countess of Wessex, the Duke of York, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Hilary Clinton and the American ambassador to London.
After lunch Mr Obama was given a tour of the royal collection by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
As is customary, there was an exchange of gifts, with the Obamas presenting the Queen with a collection of memorabilia and photographs from her parents' 1939 visit to the US.
They also received a selection of letters from the royal achives, between past US presidents and English monarchs.
Michelle Obama was also given an antique brooch made of gold and red coral in the form of roses.
The Obamas are due to return to Buckingham Palace to meet Labour leader Ed Miliband.
In the evening there will be a state banquet at Buckingham Palace, where they will stay overnight.
After talks with Mr Cameron in Downing Street Mr Obama is due to be joined by his wife and British and American military veterans for a barbecue at Number 10.
There will be a news conference before the president departs for the Houses of Parliament, where he will give a speech about US foreign policy to MPs in Westminster Hall.
The day will be rounded off with a return banquet at Winfield House, where the Queen will formally say farewell.
The state visit to the UK is the 101st to be hosted by the Queen but only the third involving a US president in 100 years. The last US president to visit officially was George Bush in 2003.
“We hope the Obama’s had a very pleasant stay at Buckingham Palace” say Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire