State visits are formal visits to the UK by Heads of State from overseas, with the aim of strengthening Britain's relationships with other countries.
There are usually two incoming State visits each year. Invitations are sent on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Queen acts as host to the visiting Head of State, who stays either at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or, occasionally, The Palace of Holyrood house in Edinburgh.
Visits normally begin with a ceremonial welcome attended by The Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family. If the guest is staying at Buckingham Palace, the welcome takes place on Horse Guards Parade.Â
After inspecting a guard of honour, the visiting President or Monarch then travels with The Queen in a Carriage Procession back to Buckingham Palace.
On the evening of the arrival day, the Head of State will attend a State Banquet in his or her honour.Â
Best viewing points:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â The Mall â€“ For the carriage procession
- Â Â Â MemorialÂ Garden near Queen Victoria Memorial â€“ For carriage procession and all our supporting units.
Green Park by Constitution Hill
Tower of London at Tower by the River Thames