The British royal family will host U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at a dinner at Kensington Palace Friday, according to a tweet posted on the palace’s verified account Monday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as Prince Harry, are expected to greet the first couple.
The Obamas are set to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday Thursday with lunch at Windsor Palace 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 Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will host President and Mrs Obama for dinner on Friday at Kensington Palace
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 18, 2016
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.
Obama’s stops at the two palaces are part of a scheduled diplomatic visit to the U.K., Saudi Arabia and Germany. The U.S. president is also planning a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, where he is expected to urge U.K. voters to cast their ballots to stay in the European Union 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 are returning from a whirlwind tour of India, where they visited wildlife centers, orphanages and attractions such as the bench close to the Taj Mahal where William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, posed for photographs decades ago. As one might have anticipated, their trip did arouse 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 won its independence.