Barack Obama arrived at Downing Street today for in-depth talks with Prime Minister David Cameron on issues ranging from military campaigns in Libya and Afghanistan to global economic reform.
The US president will insist the US-UK alliance is key to providing global security after a “difficult decade” as he gets down to the real political business of his state visit.
Mr Obama was smiling broadly after making the short journey in Cadillac One - his bombproof limousine known as “The Beast” – from Buckingham Palace.
After the meeting the two leaders jointly dished out burgers and sausages at a barbecue for military families.
The two leaders gamely served the cooked meat at the unusual lunch party while their wives, Samantha and Michelle, spooned side dishes onto guests’ plates.
About 150 American and British service members sat at wooden tables in the sunny garden behind Number 10.
The atmosphere was a mixture of genteel English garden party and sombre military occasion, with the guests perhaps somewhat overawed by their VIP hosts.