Barack Obama To Visit London In May

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 86 months ago
Barack Obama To Visit London In May

Her Maj has thrown Barack and Michelle Obama an invitation to stay at Buckingham Palace in May, for what will be the US President's first state visit to Britain.

The full pomp and circumstance of the British monarchy will be deployed for the occasion, with a proper royal welcome, a full banquet in their honour, and of course complimentary bed 'n breakfast at Buck Pal. When not chin-wagging with Charles and sitting through awkward moments with Prince Philip, Obama will also use the occasion to meet with David Cameron, before heading off to the G8 summit in France.

Though this may be the first official visit, Obama hasn't been a stranger to these shores. He visited during the 2008 election campaign as part of a whirlwind European trip, and touched down again in April 2009 for the G20 talks, where he helped Gordon Brown to 'save the world' while his wife thrilled a school in Islington. Sadly, it's unlikely that the President will have the time to indulge in some of his favourite London pastimes — a visit to Upton Park (Obama is reportedly a West Ham fan) or to the graffitied streets of east London (he received a gift last year from David Cameron of a Ben Eine artwork) aren't on the itinerary.

The last (and, indeed, first ever) state visit by a US president wasn't exactly a calm affair: George W. Bush's trip in November 2003 saw the capital "paralysed" as a huge security detail swung into action to control thousands of anti-war protestors. Obama's visit, which takes place from May 26-28, should prove less controversial.

Photo of President Obama by Joshua Debner.

Last Updated 18 February 2011