London: Queen Elizabeth II has invited US
President Barack Obama to make a state visit to Britain,
Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman told AFP that no dates for
the visit had been agreed yet, but the earliest time such a
visit could take place would be in early 2011.
"We are aware and supportive of the invitation extended
to President Obama by the foreign secretary," the palace said.
Invitations for state visits are traditionally sent out
by Britain`s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
British Prime Minister David Cameron passed on the
invitation on behalf of the queen during talks with Obama at
the White House.
It would not be Obama`s first trip to Britain. The
president was in London in March last year to attend a G20
summit aimed at fixing the global economy.
Accompanied by his wife Michelle, the visit included a
trip to Buckingham Palace to meet the queen and her husband
The first lady made headlines around the world when she
briefly put her arm around the monarch`s waist, an act that is
usually considered a breach of protocol.
State visits are formal visits to the UK by overseas
heads of states, with the aim of strengthening Britain`s
relationships with other countries.
The queen hosts just two such visits per year, usually
one in spring and one in autumn.
Her guests are invited to stay at Buckingham Palace or