History from across the centuries, Royalty from the 21st

Tue 19th September, 2017
 

Colombian president welcomed by Queen & Philip on State Visit

The Queen and Prince Philip yesterday welcomed the Colombian President to London, at the beginning of his State Visit. With a ceremonial welcome at Horseguards Parade, the day was then finished with a lavish State Banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calder—n, and his wife are welcomed to Buckingham Palace by The Queen and Prince Philip on the first day of their State Visit. Picture by i-Images / Pool

The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calder—n, and his wife are welcomed to Buckingham Palace by The Queen and Prince Philip on the first day of their State Visit. Picture by i-Images / Pool

On the first visit to the UK for a Colombian President, the Mall was bedecked in the Union Flag and the tri-coloured one of the South-American country.

In typical British style, pomp and pageantry abound, the Household Cavalry greeted the foreign Head of State with music and a display of army grandeur. 1,000 troops were on parade for the occasion.

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Music and pageantry greeted the Colombian President at the beginning of his State Visit

Prince Charles and Camilla accompanied Juan Manuel Santos Calder—n and his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez Munera, from their hotel to meet the Monarch for the official welcome. The guests will stay at Buckingham Palace for the remainder of their visit.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spent time with the couple on their visit to Colombia in 2014.

As the President stepped down from his carriage, a 41 gun salute went off at the Tower of London to mark the occasion, also as a sign of respect.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also joined the welcome party. This is Mrs May’s first state visit since she became party leader.

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Mr Santos inspected a guard of honour, provided by the Coldstream Guards, and was joined by The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Colombian President inspected a guard of honour with Prince Philip . Cpl Timothy Jones RLC Crown Copyright 2016

The Colombian President inspected a guard of honour with Prince Philip. (Cpl Timothy Jones RLC Crown Copyright 2016)

Later that afternoon, Prince Charles and Camilla once more met with the incoming visitors, this time at Clarence House. It is tradition for the heir to welcome the guests with tea at their home; the Colombian President took his family to greet the heir to the throne.

The London Eye was also lit up in yellow, blue and red – the colours of the Colombian flag, to mark the visit.

Gifts were exchanged by the Heads of State, as a sign of friendship and respect between the two countries. Her Majesty was given coffee and flowers. She also showed her guests a number of items from the Royal Collection during an afternoon reception, for which she had changed into a pink ensemble.

Often these items have a link to the country in question, and yesterday’s selection included Philips pilot license from the country in 1962, and gifts given to Prince Charles and Camilla back in 2014 – as well as the new £5 polymer note. The Queen is always given the first low-numbered version of a new note.

To end the day, The Queen hosted a State Banquet, as is tradition for incoming State Visits. In sapphires and her collar denoting her membership to the Colombian Order of Boyaca, Elizabeth II gave a speech honouring the friendship between the UK and Colombia.

“I am sure of a shared, bright future for both our countries as longstanding allies working together towards global peace and prosperity,” she said.

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Joining The Queen and Philip at the banquet were Charles and Camilla, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Sir Tim Lawrence.

Today, The Countess of Wessex will be accompanying Mrs Santos on a visit, while Prince Charles shows the President around the Natural History Museum.

The President will also travel to Northern Ireland on Thursday to meet community leaders in Belfast and discuss the challenges of community reconciliation post-conflict.

Written by

Victoria has a passion for British history and Constitutional Monarchy, hence her reasons for founding The Crown Chronicles. Her specialism is the Early Modern era, with particular emphasis on the Tudor and Stuart dynasties. She is also a keen reader (usually something historical), baker and shopper. Her motto is to have a full bookcase, but a fuller wardrobe. Miss Howard also works closely with the British Monarchist Foundation as their Press Secretary and Spokesman.

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