Obama hails 'mesmerising' Royal Wedding

US President Barack Obama congratulated the Prince of Wales on the wedding of his son Prince William to wife Kate when the two met for talks.

US President Barack Obama congratulated the Prince of Wales on the wedding of his son Prince William to wife Kate when the two met for talks.

Mr Obama also described how the glittering royal marriage ceremony left the US mesmerised, with many Americans watching the event which attracted an estimated worldwide television audience of two billion last week.

The comments came when Prince Charles sat down yesterday for informal discussions in the famous Oval Office of the White House with Mr Obama.

The president described how he was impressed by William and Kate’s handling of the pressure of the big day, and joked with Charles how he could not have coped with such a situation himself – he had just 300 guests at his wedding to wife Michelle.

Mr Obama and his spouse, who will make a state visit to the UK at the end of this month, were not present at the Westminster Abbey ceremony but his comments suggested he watched some of the event.

Charles’ meeting with Mr Obama came at the end of a two-day visit to Washington. The prince leaves later today but before heading home he will hold a private investiture ceremony where he will present a number of honorary awards to Americans.

There was much laughter as the prince and the president chatted for the first time since 2009.

The two men last saw each other in France during the 65th anniversary commemorations for the D-Day landings, and earlier that year had met at Buckingham Palace during a reception for world leaders attending a G20 summit in London.

Charles and Mr Obama sat close to one another with their backs to an ornate fireplace and were overlooked by a portrait of former president George Washington.

The conversation, which lasted for more than half-an-hour, turned to the military and proud father Charles described how his son Prince Harry was getting to grips with the difficult task of flying the Apache helicopter.

The president sympathised and said piloting the complicated machines was suited to youngsters – a group he described as the “iPod generation”.

Harry is halfway through his training to become an Apache helicopter pilot and Charles thanked Mr Obama for the US-designed machines.

The heir to the throne, who sipped tea during the discussions, also revealed to the president how he worried for Harry when he was in Afghanistan.

The young royal served for 10 weeks as a forward air controller in Helmand Province from 2007-08.

Commenting about the meeting, a White House spokesman said: “The president thanked His Royal Highness for the important contributions that British forces are making in Afghanistan and Libya.

“During the meeting, President Obama warmly welcomed the prince’s work over three decades on environmental issues, halting deforestation and encouraging sustainable food production.

“The president also congratulated the prince on the wedding of his son, Prince William, to Catherine and extended his best wishes to the newlywed couple.

“The president looks forward to visiting the United Kingdom at the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen during his state visit later this month.”

:: The recipients of awards at the investiture ceremony include Henry Becton who oversaw the co-production of many familiar TV dramas during his time as president of WGBH, the flagship station of the US Public Broadcasting Service.

He co-produced many well-known programmes such as 'Inspector Morse', 'The Jewel in the Crown', 'Rumpole of the Bailey', 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'Poirot'.

Mr Becton will be made an honorary CBE in recognition of his services to the arts and the entertainment industry.

Dr Gail Paster, a renowned Shakespeare scholar, will be made an honorary CBE in recognition of her services to the arts.

An honorary OBE will go to former congressman Dr Martin Lancaster in recognition of his services to education and skills policy in Northern Ireland.

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