Emir of Qatar in Britain on state visit

Queen Elizabeth II hosted a lavish state banquet to welcome the emir of Qatar to Britain at the start of a three-day state visit aimed at boosting growing trade and both countries` bids for the World Cup.

Windsor: Queen Elizabeth II hosted a lavish state banquet to welcome the emir of Qatar to Britain at the start of a three-day state visit aimed at boosting growing trade and both countries` bids for the World Cup.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani was the guest of honour for the banquet Tuesday in regal surroundings at Windsor Castle, which was also attended by senior figures from the British royal family and Prime Minister David Cameron.

The 58-year-old emir earlier arrived in Windsor, west of London, where he was greeted by the British monarch.

Speaking at the banquet, the queen said: "This visit is a chance for us to celebrate the breadth and depth of our partnership."

The Qatar ruler and Sheikha Mozah, one of his three wives, were joined at the banquet by many of his country`s ministers.
Among other guests were Prince Charles, the 61-year-old heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Charles recently courted controversy when it was revealed that he had lobbied the emir to change a major London building development plan, sparking accusations of abuse of power.
Before the banquet, the queen`s 89-year-old husband, Prince Philip, showed he can still turn on the charm as he chatted to the emir`s glamorous wife while viewing items related to Qatar in Windsor Castle.

Bureau Report

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