LONDON – President Barack Obama will make a state visit to Britain in May at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, officials said Thursday.
Prime Minister David Cameron's office said it is pleased that Obama has accepted the invitation to visit the U.K. along with first lady Michelle Obama from May 24-26. The trip will come just before a G-8 summit in France, which Obama is expected to attend.
Obama is expected to meet with Cameron while he is in the country, and the prime minister's office said the visit demonstrates the "strong and enduring relationship" between the two countries.
The White House confirmed the trip, noting it will be the president's first state visit to a European country. Further details on the visit will be made available later, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Obama's state visit to the U.K. will be the first by a U.S. president since George W. Bush came in November 2003. Obama was in London for the G-20 summit in 2009, but that was not a state visit.
At the time, the first lady made a strong impression on the queen. The two made headlines for wrapping their arms around each other — a rare moment of public affection for the monarch. Later that year, Michelle Obama returned to London with her daughters, taking a guided tour of Buckingham Palace and getting a special greeting from the queen.
On the state visit in May, Obama and his wife will stay at Buckingham Palace. The U.S. president will receive a full ceremonial welcome and a banquet will be held in his honor.