First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül accompanied President Gül on his official visit to the UK. Attending the welcoming ceremony and the official dinner given in their honor by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, the First Lady also watched a classical music concert at the Royal Albert Hall. She explored the exhibition of the paintings by Leonardo da Vinci at the National Museum as well.
Launching the official program on Tuesday, the First Couple were welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace with an official welcoming ceremony.
The Royal family welcomed the First Couple on the platform in the ceremonial ground with the 41-gun salute in Green Park and 62-gun salute in Tower of London. After the Turkish national anthem was played, President Gül and Duke Philip of Edinburgh greeted the Royal Guard of Honor. Afterwards, the Royal Horse Carriages accompanied by the Cavalry Troop arrived at the ceremonial ground. Queen Elizabeth II and President Gül took the first carriage while Prince Philip and the First Lady got on the second carriage, during which time the Turkish national anthem was played once again.
Afterwards, the horse carriages proceeded to Buckingham Palace through Mall Street decorated with the flags of both countries. A large crowd of British and Turkish citizens demonstrated their enthusiasm for the Royal family and the First Couple.
The convoy of the 7 horse carriages entered the yard of Buckingham Palace while the Turkish national anthem was being played. After the British national anthem was played, the Royal family and the First Couple had a photo taken on the stairs in front of the entrance of the palace.
LUNCHEON AT THE BLUE DRAWING HALL
President Gül and the First Lady, afterwards, attended a luncheon that Queen Elizabeth II hosted in their honor at the Blue Drawing Hall in Buckingham Palace. The Queen and Prince Philip later accompanied President Gül and the First Lady to the Belgian Suite where they stayed.
VISIT TO THE LONDON EYE
The First Couple watched the London Eye, or the Millennium Wheel, one of the capital’s symbols situated by the River Thames and decorated with white and red, thus taking on the colors of the flag of a foreign head of state for the first time.
FIRST LADY EXPLORES ROYAL PAINTING COLLECTION
Accompanying President Gül on his official visit to the UK, the First Lady explored the exhibition of the paintings by Leonardo da Vinci at the National Museum. She later visited the ateliers in the museum where the works of the Royal Collection are restored.
OFFICIAL DINNER FOR THE FIRST COUPLE AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II hosted an official dinner in honor of President Abdullah Gül and First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül at Buckingham Palace. The official dinner was given in the Music Hall of Buckingham Palace where the then Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz paid the first state visit to the United Kingdom in 1867.
PRINCE CHARLES OF WALES WELCOMES THE FIRST COUPLE AT CLARENCE HOUSE
Welcoming the First Couple in front of Clarence House, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla introduced them to the students of the Prince‘s School of Traditional Arts, where they create works related to the three Abrahamic religions. The Royal Couple and the First Couple later enjoyed the works of the Turkish traditional arts made by these students. President Gül and the First Lady were also briefed about the activities of the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment. Prince Charles of Wales later introduced the Chairman of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, Dr. Farhan Ahmad Nizami and the participants of the Young Muslim Leadership Program to the First Couple. The Royal Couple and the First Couple later had a tete-a-tete while enjoying tea.
VISIT TO THE GRAVES OF TURKISH MARINES IN PORTSMOUTH
The First Couple, on the last day of their program, visited the graves of the 26 marines in Portsmouth.