Obama to make state visit to Britain in May at queen's invitation

Friday, February 18, 2011

LONDON -- President Barack Obama will make a state visit to Britain in May at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, officials said Thursday.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office said it is pleased that Obama has accepted the invitation to visit the U.K. along with first lady Michelle Obama from May 24 through 26. The trip will come just before a G-8 summit in France, which Obama is expected to attend.

Obama is expected to meet with Cameron while he is in the country, and the prime minister's office said the visit demonstrates the strong and enduring relationship between the two countries.

The White House confirmed the trip, noting it will be the president's first state visit to a European country. Further details on the visit will be made available later White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Obama's state visit to the U.K. will be the first by a U.S. president since George W. Bush came in November 2003. Obama was in London for the G-20 summit in 2009, but that was not a state visit.

In keeping with tradition, Obama and his wife will stay at Buckingham Palace. The U.S. president will receive a full ceremonial welcome and a banquet will be held in his honor.

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