UAE President begins state visit to the UK

WAM LONDON, 30th April 2013 (WAM): President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan started today a two-day state visit to Britain at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

With the focal event of the day being a formal state banquet at Windsor Castle, HH the President was first visited at his private residence at Richmond, just west of London, by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

Members of the official British party escorting HH Sheikh Khalifa were introduced by the Duke of York to the President, following which HH Sheikh Khalifa and the Duke, with the UAE delegation accompanying the President and British escorts, left by car for the short journey to the outskirts of the town of Windsor.

There the President was met at midday by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a specially-erected royal saluting platform on Datchet Road facing the imposing historic castle, which has been a royal residence for nearly 1,000 years.

Two royal gun salutes were then fired, one of 21 guns, by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, and the other, of 41 guns, by the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British Army, at the historic Tower of London, in central London.

The President was then introduced by the Queen to a number of local civic officials, after which the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, gave a Royal Salute and the UAE national anthem was played.

The Queen and Sheikh Khalifa, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, were then escorted to an open horse-drawn carriage for a procession through the streets of Windsor, escorted by the Sovereign’s Escort Other members of the UAE delegation and senior British officials followed in other carriages.

As the procession commenced, the UAE and British national anthems were played.

Soldiers from the Grenadier Guards and the Scots Guards, two of the most famous regiments in the British Army lined the streets in the town, which were decorated with the UAE and British flags, while townspeople and tourists watched the procession, applauding.

The carriage procession then entered Windsor Castle, coming to a halt in the Quadrangle, where a Guard of Honour of the Welsh Guards was awaiting.

The national anthems of both countries were then played again, as the Queen, the President and the Duke of Edinburgh took their places on the royal dais.

Sheikh Khalifa, accompanied by the Duke, then inspected the Guard of Honour, following which there was a ride-past by the Mounted Band of the Lifeguards, the King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery and the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry.

Queen Elizabeth then introduced HH Sheikh Khalifa to senior members of the royal household.

Members of the UAE delegation were then introduced by the President.

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