This evening, The Queen hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for NATO leaders to mark the 70th anniversary of the organisation.
Her Majesty was accompanied by various members of her family, including The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Princess Royal, The Earl of Wessex, Princess Alexandra and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Political leaders from the 29 NATO nations were also in attendance, alongside their spouses. The distinguished guests included Boris Johnson, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was established in 1949; 12 nations signed the initial Treaty, but the organisation has since grown to 29, with North Macedonia in the process of becoming the 30th member state. NATO implements the North Atlantic Treaty, with is based on the principle of collective defence – if one member is attacked by an external force, the other member states agree to enact a mutual defence. During the Cold War years, NATO’s main concern was the Warsaw Pact, a similar initative among the Soviet and Eastern bloc countries. NATO has also been involved in Bosnia and Yugoslavia, and also the deployment of troops in Afghanistan following the 9/11 terror attacks.
The Queen has carried out various NATO-related engagements during her reign; in 1957, Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh visited General Norstad, then Commander of NATO’s Allied Command Operations. In the 1980s, the royal couple attended a meeting of the NATO council at the organisation’s headquarters in Belgium, while in 2015, the UK Head of State visited Imjin Barracks, Gloucestershire, HQ of NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Core.
?Watch archive footage of The Queen &
The Duke of Edinburgh visiting the Commander of @NATO‘s Allied Command Operations, General Norstad, in 1957.
The North Atlantic Treaty – or Washington Treaty – forms the basis of NATO. It was signed on 4 April 1949 by 12 founding members. pic.twitter.com/LvhlEXrrN3
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 3, 2019
Upon arrival at Buckingham Palace, the NATO leaders were welcomed by the Deputy Master of the Household. The politicians then faced a lengthy queue as they waited to greet Her Majesty and other Royal Family members. The Royals appeared to be in high spirits at tonight’s event, laughing with various guests during the reception. Following the welcome line, guests then had a chance to mingle and speak with their Royal hosts in the Palace’s Green Drawing Room. An official photograph of the various Heads of State, alongside The Queen and Prince Charles, was taken to commemorate the event.
Earlier today, President Trump and First Lady Melania had tea with The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House; the foursome also had tea during the US State visit in June of this year.
The Duke of Cambridge was not in attendance alongside his wife as he is still in the Middle East on tour, while The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently taking a break from royal duties.