UK State Visit: Much fanfare in London as President Tony Tan's state visit officially begins

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (right), sits with Mary Tan (left), wife of Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam, at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct 21, 2014, ahead of the official ceremonial welcome at the start of the Singapore
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (right), sits with Mary Tan (left), wife of Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam, at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct 21, 2014, ahead of the official ceremonial welcome at the start of the Singaporean president's state visit to Britain. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (second left), and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (left), pose with Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (second right) and his wife Mary Tan (right) at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (second left), and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (left), pose with Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (second right) and his wife Mary Tan (right) at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct 21, 2014, ahead of the official ceremonial welcome at the start of the Singaporean president's state visit to Britain. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (left), and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (right), greet Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (second left) and his wife Mary Tan (second right) at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct 21,
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (left), and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (right), greet Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (second left) and his wife Mary Tan (second right) at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct 21, 2014, ahead of the official ceremonial welcome at the start of the Singaporean president's state visit to Britain. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (left) and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (right) attend the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London o
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (left) and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (right) attend the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (front left) talks with Mary Tan (front right), wife of Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam, as British Prime Minister David Cameron (back fourth right), Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (back third right)and Home Sec
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (front left) talks with Mary Tan (front right), wife of Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam, as British Prime Minister David Cameron (back fourth right), Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (back third right)and Home Secretary Theresa May (back second right) stand by during the ceremonial welcome ceremony for the Singaporean president at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (left) and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (front right) stand with Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (front second left) and his wife Mary (front second right), as British Prime Minister David Cameron (b
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (left) and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (front right) stand with Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (front second left) and his wife Mary (front second right), as British Prime Minister David Cameron (back 4R), Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (third right) and Home Secretary Theresa May (second right) stand by during the ceremonial welcome ceremony for the Singaporean president at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (centre) reviews an honour guard accompanied by Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (back, second right) during the ceremonial welcome ceremony for the Singaporean president at the start of a state visit
Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (centre) reviews an honour guard accompanied by Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (back, second right) during the ceremonial welcome ceremony for the Singaporean president at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (left), takes her seat in a State Carriage with her husband Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (right), for the carriage procession to Buckingham Palace as part of the ceremonial welcome ceremony for
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (left), takes her seat in a State Carriage with her husband Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (right), for the carriage procession to Buckingham Palace as part of the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A picture shows the procession of state carriages carrying Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of C
A picture shows the procession of state carriages carrying Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, along the Mall toward Buckingham Palace at the end of the ceremonial welcome ceremony for at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (right) greet the President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife Mary Chee (left) during a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (right) greet the President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife Mary Chee (left) during a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
British Prime Minister David Cameron (second left), Home Secretary Theresa May (centre) and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (second right) arrive to attend the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a
British Prime Minister David Cameron (second left), Home Secretary Theresa May (centre) and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (second right) arrive to attend the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Prince William (second, right) and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (right), greet the President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife Mary Chee, at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Prince William (second, right) and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (right), greet the President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife Mary Chee, at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON - The red-and-white flag of Singapore flew proudly alongside the British Union Jack in central London on Tuesday, as President Tony Tan Keng Yam officially began his state visit to the United Kingdom to much fanfare.

Booming gun salutes, marching band renditions of Singapore's national anthem and a stately carriage procession flanked by royal horse guards were all part of the day's pageantry for Dr Tan, the first Singaporean president to make a state visit to Britain.

The morning began with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greeting Dr Tan at the Royal Garden Hotel where he was staying.

It was Prince William's wife, Catherine's, first public appearance in over two months, and she appeared healthy and cheerful, dressed in a gray coat with her hair in a ponytail. The royal couple is expecting their second child in April 2015, and the duchess has been suffering from acute morning sickness.

AFP reported that Mrs Tan told Kate she was glad she could make the engagement. The duchess replied: "So am I. I've been looking forward to getting out of the house, that's for sure."

Dr Tan and his wife, together with the royal couple, then went in a car procession to the Horse Guards Parade ground, where they were received by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

An 103-gun royal salute was fired from Green Park, the royal park nearest to the Horse Guards Parade, and from the Tower of London, a royal palace and fortress, as part of the ceremonial welcome.

The Queen, who wore a royal blue coat and matching hat, also presented to Dr Tan dignitaries including British Prime Minister David Cameron, secretaries of state, senior military officials, and top officials from the City of London.

Dr Tan then inspected the guard of honour, who were in their signature red tunics and towering black fur hats.

The President and his wife then boarded gilded state carriages, which brought them to Buckingham Palace, where they will stay until Thursday at the Queen's invitation.

The Queen rode with Dr Tan in one carriage and the Duke of Edinburgh with Mrs Tan in another.

Escorted by over 100 members of the Queen's household cavalry mounted on horses, the carriage procession moved off to rousing renditions of the Singaporean and British national anthems - Majulah Singapura and God Save the Queen.

A crowd had gathered to watch the ceremony.