This week, the Queen welcomes President Tan of Singapore to London for a four-day state visit. State visits always bring out significant glitter in Britain; here’s a guide to where and when you can expect to see members of the royal family during the visit. (The full visit program is available here!)
Tuesday: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are scheduled to greet President and Mrs. Tan at their hotel and escort them to Horse Guards Parade for the ceremonial welcome ceremony. Kate, of course, has been ill at the beginning of her second pregnancy, and I imagine her attendance will depend on her health on Tuesday morning. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be waiting at Horse Guards Parade (and often Charles and Camilla also attend these ceremonies), and then they’ll take their guests to Buckingham Palace for lunch.
After visits to Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster, the Queen will hold a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Numerous members of the royal family usually attend (not announced beforehand), though we almost always only get pictures of the Queen and perhaps Camilla or Anne. If William and Kate go to the banquet, I have a sneaking feeling we’ll see a few more images.
The Gloucesters at the Guildhall banquet during the 2009 Indian state visit
Wednesday: The Duke of York will be escorting the President and his wife to various locations on Wednesday, and then in the evening, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will attend a banquet with their guests at the Guildhall in London. This is one of the best chances we get every year to see parts of the massive Gloucester jewelry collection in action!
Thursday: The Queen and Prince Philip will bid farewell to President and Mrs. Tan at Buckingham Palace. President and Mrs. Tan will then head to Bristol for a number of activities.
Friday: No royals will be involved in the final day of the visit, which includes a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
There will be posts about the visit’s jewels here on Wednesday and Thursday, so look forward to that! As for now, three burning questions for all of you: Which tiara and jewels will the Queen wear for the state banquet? (Just as an FYI: the sash of the Queen’s order from Singapore, the Order of Temasek, is red and white.) Which jewelry will we see Birgitte Gloucester wear at the Guildhall? And which other members of the family will we see at the banquet on Tuesday evening?