U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pose with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh before a State Dinner at Buckingham Palace in London May 24, 2011.
The 171 guest list includes members of the royal family, celebrities and other dignitaries, including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, Richard Branson, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, actors Kristin Chenoweth, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, director Tim Burton, actress Helena Bonham-Carter, and actor Kevin Spacey.
Seated at the president’s table are Mrs. Obama, the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cornwall, Clinton and Cameron, with the monarch and Mr. Obama at the head of the U-shaped table.
Mr. Barack Obama is only the second U.S. president to be accorded a state visit in Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, according to Buckingham Palace. George W. Bush is the only previous U.S. president to be accorded a state visit, the palace said.
The menu, printed in French on dainty white cards, included sole, Windsor lamb with basil, green bean panache and Charlotte a la Vanille for dessert. Wines include Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2004 and Royal Vintage Port from 1963.
The music program included a march, a waltz, a German dance and “My Fair Lady” by Frederick Loewe.
The state dinner is arranged by Britain’s government as a way of courting allies and rewarding friends. The queen’s guestlist and her dinner toast is coordinated with officials.
The full banquet menu for the dinner:
Paupiette de Sole et Cresson
Agneau de la Nouvelle Saison de Windsor au Basilic
Courgettes et Radis Sautees
Panache d’Haricots Verts
Charlotte à la Vanille et Cerises Griottes
Fruits de Dessert
Ridgeview Cuvée Merret Fitzrovia Rose 2004
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2004 (Domaine William Fevre)
Echezeaux Grand Cru 1990 (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti)
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Vintage Rich 2002
Royal Vintage Port 1963