The Queen and Prince Philip did something somewhat unusual for them when they have visitor come to Windsor Castle on Friday…. they met President and Mrs. Obama at the helicopter as the couple arrived for a birthday lunch with Her Majesty.
The President’s visit to the UK has been carefully planned for months, with some of the world’s best security measures in place. However, it is unknown what the members of the President’s Secret Service detail were thinking when 94-year-old Prince Philip took to the wheel and chauffeured the Obamas up to the private apartments of Windsor Castle.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Range Rover is very different to the bomb proof cars the President normally travels in, with his security detail both in the car and close by, but Royal cars all have added safety features, such as bullet proof glass and extra cover to the engine.
President Obama rides in a set of limos that have multiple levels of protection for whatever sort of danger might befall the president…each of the cars shares a nickname…”The Beast”.
The journey didn’t quite go according to plan however, as the President tried to get in the back seat of the car, he was told by Her Majesty’s protection officers that The Queen would be sitting there.
The American media seemed bemused by the episode, with many gasping: “Is Obama driving?!”, having forgotten that in the UK the driver sits on the right.
Posing for photos, the foursome looked comfortable in one another’s company, and the image of Her Majesty stretching out her hand as she approached the President gives us an idea they get on very well indeed.
During lunch, President Obama wisher Her Majesty a very happy 90th birthday, and gave her a birthday present. The gift was a photograph album which detailed her meetings with all of the US Presidents and First Ladies over the course of her 64 year reign. She has met 11 of the 12 Presidents who have been in office since 1952.
After lunch, the President met Prime Minister David Cameron for talks and a joint press conference where he made his position on the European Union referendum known.
That evening, the Obamas had dinner at Kensington Palace with The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – read about Prince George’s meeting with the President here.
This is President Obama’s last visit to the United Kingdom whilst he is in the Oval office.