Young Prince George stays up late to greet Obamas


When President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrived at Kensington Palace Friday evening, two-year-old Prince George stood near the foyer, waiting to meet his parents’ dinner guests.

Smartly attired for bedtime in a monogrammed robe and pajamas, the royal toddler was permitted to stay up late to meet the president and first lady, said Jason Knauf, a spokesman for Prince William and his wife Catherine.

During a two-and-a-half hour gathering, the adults enjoyed cocktails and dinner, and Prince George got a bit of playtime. Photos tweeted out from the Kensington Palace account showed Mr. Obama shaking Prince George’s hand as his father looks on. The young royal also took a ride on the rocking horse that the president gave him when he was born.

The evening get-together, which included Prince Harry as well, capped off a royal day for the Obamas, who earlier had lunch with the queen.

Rain was falling when the president and first lady arrived at the palace, but Prince William, Catherine and Prince Harry greeted their guests outside in the courtyard. The group shared a single umbrella, carried by Mr. Obama, as they exchanged greetings and chatted for a minute.

Before heading inside, the first couple and the royals paused to pose for a picture. “I’m sure one of those will work,” Mr. Obama told the assembled journalists, bringing a quick end to the photo shoot.

The president spent the bulk of the afternoon holding talks and then a joint press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron. But first, Mr. Obama and the first lady commemorated the queen’s 90th birthday with a lunch at Windsor Castle. The Obamas arrived in Marine One, touching down in a grassy field on the castle grounds.

They soon were greeted by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip. The two couples exchanged handshakes and chatted for a couple minutes before climbing in a Range Rover with Prince Philip, who is 94, at the wheel.

As trumpets played in the distance, the foursome made the short drive to the Sovereign’s Entrance at Windsor Castle, disappearing inside as they continued their conversation.

Mr. Obama came bearing a gift for the occasion. For the 90-year-old who likely has just about everything, the president bestowed a custom album filled with historical photos chronicling the queen’s visits with U.S. presidents and first ladies.

Later, during his press conference, Mr. Obama said the chance to wish her majesty a happy 90th birthday was part of the impetus for his trip.

“The queen has been a source of inspiration for me, like so many people around the world,” the president said. “She is truly one of my favorite people, and should we be fortunate enough to reach 90, may we be as vibrant as she is.”



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