Photo Credit: CHARLES DHARAPAK/AFP/Getty Images
Fresh off their honeymoon in the Seychelles, a tanned and happy-looking Prince William and Kate Middleton (now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) greeted President Barack and first lady Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
The conversation was reportedly "relaxed," and the two couples chatted for 20 minutes about the royal wedding (which the Obamas had not attended), as well as William and Kate's upcoming visit to the United States. Greeting the Obamas was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first official duty as a royal couple.
The Obamas are on the first leg of their European tour, having spent Monday in Ireland, where they were reportedly given a rock-star reception. While the first couple had planned to stay longer in Ireland, the trip was abbreviated due to fears that the ash from the recent volcanic explosion in Iceland would delay their flights.
Arriving at Buckingham Palace from Ireland late on Monday, the President and First Lady were greeted personally by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Following the brief chat with William, 28, and Kate, 29, the President and first lady stepped out onto the garden terrace for their official welcome to the U.K. They were given a 41-gun salute by Scots Guards, and listened to renditions of the countries' respective national anthems.
Following lunch with Queen Elizabeth, Obama visited Westminster Abbey and laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, the same place that Kate had sent her bridal bouquet following the wedding, according to tradition.
Tuesday night, the Obamas will be joined by 200 dignitaries and royals for the State Banquet. Interestingly, William and Kate will not be in attendance at the banquet, nor were they present at the the lunch with Queen Elizabeth. Their absence at these events is perhaps meant to emphasize that, despite their notoriety, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are not actual working members of the royal family.
The Obamas will be staying at Buckingham Palace for two nights, in the same six-room suite where William and Kate spent their wedding night.