US State Visit Programme


State Visit of the President of the United States of America and Mrs Obama, 24 to 26 May 2011

The President of the United States, President Barack Obama, will pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom at the invitation of The Queen.

The President will be accompanied by Mrs Obama and will stay at Buckingham Palace.

Tuesday 24 May

Morning - The President and Mrs.Obama arrive. Official welcome ceremony. Meeting with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Afternoon - Exchange of gifts

The official gifts, exchanged in the White Drawing Room on day one of the State Visit were as follows:

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh gave President Obama copies of letters from the Royal Archives to and from a number of Presidents of the USA to Queen Victoria, commencing with a letter from John Quincy Adams writing to Princess Victoria in 1834. The final letter in the collection was written by William McKinley in 1897 to Queen Victoria marking her Diamond Jubilee year. The volume includes letters and watercolours regarding The Prince of Wales' trip to the US in 1860 and letters in response to the death of the Prince Consort and Abraham Lincoln. The documents were bound in a red leather book.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh gave Mrs Obama an antique brooch in the form of a rose made of gold and red coral, presented in a red leather jewel box.

The President and Mrs Obama gave The Queen a leather-bound album containing rare memorabilia and photographs in chronicling King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's visit to the United States in 1939.

The President and Mrs Obama gave The Duke of Edinburgh a custom-made set of Fell Pony bits and shanks, as well as original horseshoes worn by recently retired champion carriage horse Jamaica. A slaughterhouse rescue horse, Jamaica rose to the top of carriage horse competition and was named the 2008 United States Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year.

Evening – State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. Speeches from The Queen and President Obama.

Wednesday 25 May

Morning and afternoon - President Obama visits 10 Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster.

Evening – The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attend a dinner given by The President and Mrs. Obama at the US Ambassador’s residence in London, Winfield House, Regents Park; Her Majesty and His Royal Highness bid farewell to President and Mrs. Obama.

Thursday 26 May

Morning - The President and Mrs. Obama depart Buckingham Palace.


Information about silver and service used at the US State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on 24 May 2011.


Sweet plates - V R Minton Made for Queen Victoria 1876.

Fruit service - Tournai French dessert service 1787-1789.

Green sevre - soft paste porcelain made for Louis XVI (behind top table) 1790s.

Rockingham (from the Rockingham works in Yorkshire) dessert service made for William IV 1830 (first used on Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838).


In front of The Queen and The President:

St. George and the Dragon – A grand candelabrum carrying twelve branches. At the base are four boys bearing suitable Emblems of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. John Bridge – 1832

To the right and left of The Queen:

Two large candelabras with three double and six single branches. One design is ‘The Graces gathering the Apples of the Hesperides and the Dragon watching’. The other ‘Mercury descending with the Infant Bacchus, and presenting him to the Attendant Nymphs.’ Both bases are enriched with three piping fauns and supported on double lion’s paw feet. Paul Storr - 1816.

Also on the table are four large dessert ornaments made for Pineapples originally. Used nowadays to hold flowers. With Pine leaf ornaments and branches carrying six vine leaf baskets from Bon-Bons. The bases are enriched with Dancing Bacchantes. Paul Storr – 1813.

The fish and main course plates – Date from 1805 – 1831 made by a variety of silversmiths. All commissioned by King George III.

Pair of spice boxes by Nicholas Clausen (used by The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh).

Set of 36 Triton salts. 25 by Paul Storr 1813/1814 and 11 by Philip Rundell 1819/1820 (used by The President of the United States and Mrs Obama).

Set of 36 Egyptian Salts (1802-1820).

Set of 12 Scroll Foot Cruets by Thomas Heming (1761).

Set of 36 Pepper Casters Garrads for George V.

Information about the Ceremonial Arrival in the Garden of Buckingham Palace:

A Guard of Honour, found by 1st Battalion Scots Guards, with the State Colour, the Band and the Pipes and Drums of the Battalion, under the command of Major Rory Shannon, Scots Guards, mounted in the Garden of Buckingham Palace in advance.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, conducted The President of the United States of America and Mrs Obama onto the West Terrace.

The Guard of Honour gave a Royal Salute and the American National Anthem was played.

The Silver Stick in Waiting, Colonel Stuart Cowen, The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) and the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Jalland, Grenadier Guards, were present.

The President, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, inspected the Guard of Honour.

Thereafter the Guard of Honour and the Band and the Pipes and Drums of the Battalion Marched Past.

A Royal Salute of 41 guns was fired in the Green Park by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, under the command of Major Neil Cross, Royal Horse Artillery.

A Royal Salute of 62 guns was fired at the Tower of London by The Honourable Artillery Company, under the command of Major Tony Bagwell, The Honourable Artillery Company.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, with The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, conducted The President and Mrs Obama back into Buckingham Palace.

Information about the procession, menu and music at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The Royal Procession (guests walk in pairs, hence the format of the listing)



The Prince of Wales - The Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice - The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duke of York - Mrs. Williams

The Earl of Wessex - The Hon. Valerie Jarrett

The Hon. David Plouffe - The Countess of Wessex

The Hon. Louis B. Susman - The Princess Royal

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence - Mrs. Cameron

The Duke of Gloucester - The Lady Phillips of Worth Matravers

The Hon. Michael Froman - The Duchess of Gloucester

The Duke of Kent - The Lord Speaker

Prince Michael of Kent - Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

The Hon. Dr. Philip Gordon - Princess Michael of Kent

The Speaker of the House of Commons - Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy

The Menu

Paupiette de Sole et Cresson

Sauce Nantua

Agneau de la Nouvelle Saison de Windsor au Basilic

Courgettes et Radis Sautées

Panaché d’Haricots Verts

Pommes Boulangère


Charlotte à la Vanille et Cerises Griottes

Fruits de Dessert

Les Vins

Ridgeview Cuvée Merret Fitzrovia Rosé 2004

Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2004 (Domaine William Fèvre)

Echézeaux Grand Cru 1990 (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti)

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Vintage Rich 2002

Royal Vintage Port 1963

Music Programme



Classical THE KING’S BALLET Couperin


Selection SOUTH PACIFIC Rodgers

Traditional LOCH LOMOND arr Hartley


Traditional TO A WILD ROSE MacDowell


Baroque AIR ON A G STRING Bach

Selection MY FAIR LADY Loewe

Romantic BARCAROLLE Offenbach

Major D.D. Robertson

Director of Music, Scots Guards

Pipe Programme





Pipe Major B.B. Heriot

1st Battalion Scots Guards

Previous visits by American Presidents include:

President Eisenhower paid a visit to The Queen at Balmoral Castle in 1959:

President and Mrs Kennedy dined with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in June 1961;

President Nixon had lunch with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in February 1969 and again visited in 1970;

President Carter was received by The Queen in London in 1977;

President and Mrs Reagan made an official visit to the UK in June 1982, staying at Windsor Castle;

President and Mrs Bush had lunch with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in June 1989;

President and Mrs Clinton visited The Queen in December 2000;

President George W Bush and Mrs Bush had lunch with The Queen on 19th July 2001 at Buckingham Palace;

President George W Bush and Mrs Bush November made a State Visit to the UK in November 2003;

President George W Bush and Mrs Bush visited The Queen at Windsor Castle on 15th June, 2008;

President and Mrs Obama met The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace during the G20 meeting in London in April 2009.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have made four State Visits to the USA: in October 1957 (President Eisenhower), in July 1976 for the US Bicentennial (President Ford), May 1991 (President Bush) and May 2007 (President George W Bush).

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness also made an official visit to the West Coast of America in February/March 1983 (President Reagan).

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited New York in 2010, where Her Majesty addressed the United Nations.

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