The Queen will not meet Barack Obama in London but don't call it a 'refusal'

The President will lunch with the Queen at Windsor Castle during his visit next month, and Buckingham Palace say this was always the plan

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The Independent Online

Buckingham Palace has rejected a report that the Queen "refuses" to meet Barack Obama during his visit to Britain next month, saying it was always the plan for the President to travel to Windsor Castle for lunch.

President Obama is expected to call for the UK to vote to stay in the EU during a trip here, shortly after the Queen's birthday on 21 April.

According to the Daily Mail's Ehpraim Hardcastle column, Elizabeth "refuses" to meet her fellow head of state in London, with the President being forced to trek up to Windsor Castle instead.

A source added: "But he’d be well advised not to give a pro-EU sermon over lunch after the row about the Queen supporting Brexit."

Confirming the visit - details of which were first reported in the Independent on Sunday - this week, the White House said that Mr Obama "will be received by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle for a private lunch".

"The visit will allow the President to offer his gratitude to the British Government and people for their stalwart partnership with his Administration and the American people throughout his Presidency," it added.

A Palace spokesman took issue with the use of the word "refuses", however.

The Queen is at Windsor of that time of year anyway for Easter Court so it was "appropriate" for the meeting to take place there, he added, before offering three presidential precedents.

He said: "President Reagan stayed at Windsor in 1982 and President George W Bush visited The Queen at Windsor during his last full year in office in 2008, and of course Windsor is the setting for a number of State Visits, most recently for the Presidents of Ireland and France.

"Going back further in time, The Queen received President Eisenhower at Balmoral Castle in 1959."