Kate, William to host Obama for queen’s birthday

London, April 19 (IANS) The British royal family will host US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a dinner at Kensington Palace on Friday, said a tweet posted on the palace’s verified account.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — Prince William and Kate Middleton — as well as Prince Harry will greet the couple, the tweet said on Monday.

Barack and Michelle Obama will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday on Thursday with lunch at Windsor Palace on Friday followed by dinner at Kensington Palace the same day.

“Their Royal Highnesses are very much looking forward to welcoming President and Mrs. Obama to Kensington Palace,” said a statement on the palace’s Twitter account.

The two couples have met before, while Michelle Obama and Prince Harry have collaborated on the Invictus Games, a paralympic-style multisport competition for veterans.

The Obamas’ stops at the two palaces are part of a scheduled diplomatic visit to Britain, Saudi Arabia and Germany.

Barack Obama will also join a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, where he is expected to urge British voters to cast their ballots to stay in the EU in a referendum set for June.

Cameron has championed the movement to stay in the EU, while some of his political allies, such as London Mayor Boris Johnson, have urged citizens to vote to leave the EU.

The debate has heightened in the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris during the past year.

Prince William and Kate Middleton were returning from a whirlwind tour of India, where they visited wildlife centres, orphanages and attractions such as Taj Mahal where William’s mother, Princess Diana, posed for photographs decades ago.

Their trip aroused a bit of controversy as some critics accused the royal couple of remaining silent on issues associated with British colonialism and its legacy, which they contended continue to plague India even now, almost seven decades after the country got independence.

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