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#ColombiaStateVisit begins

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh greeted President Santos of Colombia and Mrs Santos today with the help of the Guard of Honour, made up for the Coldstream Guards.

The guards gave a royal salute while the Colombian national anthem was played at the Horse Guards Parade. At the Tower of London, a 41 round gun salute marked the State Visit.

A procession then took place down The Mall where 1000’s of onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of the foursome. The Household Cavalry lead the Carriage Procession which included Her Majesty and President Santos in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach and The Duke of Edinburgh and Mrs Santos in the Scottish State Coach.

The Guard of Honour, founded by the Coldstream Guards, the Queen’s Colour, The Irish Guards Band and the Household Cavalry lined up at Buckingham Palace for the arrival where the four posed for a picture.

The President and Mrs Santos were then treated to a tour of the Royal Collection by Her Majesty of artefacts pertaining to Colombia. There were also pictures of The Queen meeting with Nobel Laureates. President Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize.

More items on display were letters from King George VI and Winston Churchill on the D-day landings and the first new £5 note which Prince Philip looked particularly interested in.

President Santos and Mrs Santos then left for Westminster Abbey, while Her Majesty gets ready to host them again this evening for the Colombia State Banquet. Preparations of the State Banquet usually take around five days, with The Queen inspecting every last detail before the dinner takes place at precisely 8 pm.

Earlier in the day, President Santos and Mrs Santos were greeted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. In 2014, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were guests of President Santos and his wife when they visited Colombia.

In 1962, the Duke of Edinburgh was the first member of the Royal Family to visit Colombia. Princess Anne followed her father’s footsteps in 1973.

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