U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to Britain's Queen Elizabeth during a State Banquet in Buckingham Palace in London May 24, 2011.Reuters

Following his massively successful day-long trip to Ireland President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle have been warmly welcomed by Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace, London.

The Queen and her husband Philip, who visited Dublin just last week, greeted Obama and his wife, a rare privilege for US presidents. The Queen also gave them a private tour that was followed by a 41-gun salute on the West Terrace.

Ranks of the Scots Guards, in red jackets, played the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Save the Queen” in honor of Obama’s arrival. There was also a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London that could be heard throughout the city.

The Obamas also met with the newly weds, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate as well as Prince Charles, the future King, and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall.

Obama and his wife will stay in the six-room Belgian suite at Buckingham palace for two nights. This is the same suite that William and Kate occupied on their wedding night.

Later on, on Tuesday afternoon, Obama laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey ahead of his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron at No 10 Downing Street

Talks between Obama and Cameron on Wednesday will focus on the Middle East,  “Arab Spring” and are set to address the lawmakers. Obama has already referred to the United States’ relationship with the UK as “essential” during his visit.

Obama is due in France on Thursday to attend the G-8 Summit Deauville, a northern resort. His final stop will be Poland.

Although the rest of Obama’s six-day will focus on foreign policy matters, he has made it clear that the first days of the trip are about the personal politics which has made him, and his wife, so beloved in Europe.


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