Obamas give Queen farewell dinner

US president Barack Obama rounded off his highly successful state visit to Britain by hosting a dinner in honour of the Queen.

The American leader and his wife Michelle staged the black-tie event for the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh as a thank you for Tuesday's state banquet at Buckingham Palace.



Mr Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron will travel to France this morning for a summit of the G8 group of major economies.



More than 50 guests, including Mr Cameron and wife Samantha, Hollywood actor Tom Hanks, Oscar winner Colin Firth, England footballer David Beckham and Harry Potter author JK Rowling attended last night's dinner at Winfield House in Regent's Park, the official home of the US ambassador to Britain Louis Susman.



The Obamas waited patiently on the mansion's doorstep for the arrival of the Queen and the Duke, where both couples greeted each other warmly.



The Queen wore an Angela Kelly white evening dress with gold and silver sequins and an emerald necklace and matching earrings, while Mrs Obama was dressed in a black off-the-shoulder dress that had a tight bodice, and wore what appeared to be a diamond necklace and matching bracelet.



The two heads of state led the way through the entrance of the residence, which serves a symbolic and political role and is a place where leading figures from all walks of life are entertained by America's official representative in the UK.



Since arriving in London on Monday, Mr Obama has taken pains to reaffirm the special relationship between the UK and the US.



Yesterday, he addressed the "mother of parliaments" at the 900-year-old Westminster Hall, where he declared that both countries "stand squarely on the side of those who long to be free".



The president rejected the argument that the rise of new economic powers such as China had sidelined Europe and America, insisting that "the time for our leadership is now".



At a "pivotal moment" in history, with demands for democracy across the Arab world and an international coalition fighting oppression in Libya, Britain and America remained "indispensable to the goal of a century which is more peaceful, more prosperous and more just", he said.



Earlier, he and Mr Cameron held talks at 10 Downing Street.



In a joint press conference, the two leaders insisted there would be "no let-up" for Muammar Gaddafi until he stood aside and allowed the Libyan people to shape their own future.



They pledged to "turn up the heat" on Tripoli and other brutal authoritarian regimes, but they stressed they had "learned the lessons" from military adventures under Tony Blair and George Bush, and were taking action in Libya as part of a wide coalition operating within the terms of a clear United Nations mandate.



Mr Obama and Mr Cameron also forged a special culinary relationship yesterday, rolling up their sleeves to jointly dish out burgers and sausages at a Downing Street barbecue for military families.



The two leaders served the cooked meat at a lunch party while their wives spooned side dishes on to guests' plates.



Later, Mrs Obama visited Oxford University's Christ Church college greeting youngsters from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school.



She first met pupils from the north London secondary school two years ago when she paid them a surprise visit during a trip to the capital with her husband.



Tuesday's activities saw the Queen declare the US Britain's "most important ally" at a lavish state banquet in Buckingham Palace.



The first day of the visit also saw Mr Obama and Mr Cameron team up to play table tennis at a south London school.



The two leaders took off their jackets for the challenge but lost to 16-year-olds Jason Do and Jamiyu Mojaji at the Globe Academy in Southwark.



Mr Obama also joined a long list of heads of state by laying a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey.



Meanwhile, just weeks after they married at the Abbey, the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to the palace to meet the American couple, marking Kate's first royal duty as a member of the Royal Family.













Mr Obama bade farewell to Britain as he boarded Air Force One following his highly successful state visit.



With a warm smile and a wave, he climbed the steps of his Boeing 757 as the sun shone at Stansted Airport, Essex, a stark contrast to his late-night arrival on Monday.



His plane, destined for Normandy, France, where the president will attend a G8 group summit, took off at 9.18am.



Earlier, he kissed goodbye to his wife Michelle on the asphalt.



The first lady will be travelling back to the US separately.

Voices
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond delivers his speech at the Scottish National Party (SNP) Spring Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland April 12, 2014.
voices
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
weird newsMan live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
Sport
Oliver Giroud kisses the Arsenal badge after giving the Gunners the lead
sportArsenal 3 West Ham 1: Two goals from the German striker and one piece of brilliance from Giroud puts the Gunners back above Everton
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
weird news
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
filmAs 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star James Dean perfected his moody act
News
Obesity surgery in rats has been found to change the way the body processes alcohol
news
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
artThe Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
Life & Style
US Airways has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it responded to customer complaints with a graphic sexual image
techUS Airways takes an interesting approach to customer service
Arts & Entertainment
Philip Arditti as Yossarian and Christopher Price as Milo Minderbinder in Northern Stage's 'Catch-22'
theatre
Arts & Entertainment
The Purple Wedding: Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell tie the knot
TV The second episode of the hit series featured a surprise for viewers
Life & Style
Back to nature: women with body issues have found naked yoga sessions therapeutic
lifeDoing poses in the altogether is already big in the US, and now it’s landed here – in mixed classes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Move from Audit to Advisory

£45000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Move from Audit to Advisor...

Management Consultancy - Operational Research Analysts

£35000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: You must ...

Secondary Teaching Assistant

£60 - £70 per day: AER Teachers: THE SCHOOL: This outstanding Secondary School...

Application Support Analyst (MS SQL, java based webserver, batch scripting)

£36000 - £40000 Per Annum On call allowance.: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?