UK State Visit: President Tony Tan receives red carpet welcome to Britain

The Viscount Hood (third from right), Lord in Waiting, greeted the President and Mrs Tan, on behalf of The Queen. Together, was Mr Bill Henderson (third from left), Special Representative of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Viscount Hood (third from right), Lord in Waiting, greeted the President and Mrs Tan, on behalf of The Queen. Together, was Mr Bill Henderson (third from left), Special Representative of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

LONDON - THE red carpet was rolled out for President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Monday when he arrived in London for a six-day state visit to Britain.

His plane touched down just before sunrise at Heathrow Airport, where he and his wife Mary were greeted by Queen Elizabeth II's lord-in-waiting Henry Lyttelton Alexander Hood.

Lining the red carpet were smartly-dressed members of the Queen's Colour Squadron, an elite ceremonial unit from the British Royal Air Force, who stood at attention as Dr Tan was brought to the airport's royal suite.

Also present were Mr Bill Henderson, who represents the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Singapore's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ms Foo Chi Hsia.

Dr Tan will stay the night at the Royal Garden Hotel, which overlooks Kensington Palace. The palace is the London home of Prince William and his wife Catherine, who are scheduled to greet Dr Tan and Mrs Tan at the hotel on Tuesday on behalf of the Queen.

The President and his wife will then journey with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Horse Guards Parade grounds near Buckingham Palace, where they will be formally welcomed by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Dr Tan, the first Singaporean president to make a state visit to Britain, will reside at Buckingham Palace for two nights until Thursday.