I am always interested in Britsh tradition and heritage and where we get some of our customs from. Reading the European edition of The Independent last week I learned there has been no state visit by a US President to the UK before. This seemed very odd as, I would imagine, almost all US President’s in living memory have been to Britain but, usefully, The Indy explains all. Apparently, there are only two state visits to the UK each year (it’s an honour, you see) and other visits by a head of state in the same year are treated as guests of the government and not state visits,
Names of the state heads can be proposed by UK ambassadors and the royal household. The visits are discussed by a series of committees and the final recommendations go to the Queen, but the Foreign Secretary makes the ultimate decision. State visits are reserved for those who hold the title of ‘heads of state’. Thus, the French president qualifies for a ‘state visit’ but not the French prime minister.
In June this year, President Putin of the Russian Federation was the last head of state to receive the honour.
On this day…
- 2005: The Token Gay Friend