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Boosting the special relationship with a cup of tea in Downing Street

After the pomp and ceremony of Tuesday's welcome, this was one of the more informal moments of the American presidential couple's visit to Britain.

Michelle Obama sat down for a chat with Samantha Cameron over afternoon tea in the private residence at Downing Street.

And, despite being married to two of the most influential men on the planet and being rather smartly dressed for a simple cup of tea, they could have been friendly neighbours meeting up for some girl talk.

The US first lady probably had some admiring comments about the minimalist kitchen, complete with sparkling stainless steel fittings, which was installed specially for the Camerons in line with design expert Samantha's tastes.

She dropped in to see Samantha after a full ceremonial welcome in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, presided over by the Queen.

In the inner sanctum at Number 11, Downing Street, where the Prime Minister and his wife live with their family because its more spacious than Number 10

 

There were kisses and hugs as the Obamas greeted their British hosts like old friends 

Samantha Cameron looked chic in an outfit by Peter Pilotto while Michelle Obama scored a fashion triumph in a cobalt coat by Narciso Rodriguez and dress by Roksanda Ilincic

 

Samantha and Michelle were due to hold a barbecue for military families in the gardens of Number 10 on Wednesday

 

The two leaders teamed up to take on teenagers at Globe Academy in South London in a game of pong pong 

The match clearly brought out their competitive spirits as they high-fived on scoring a point 

All down the Mall, Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes flags were flown in honour of the state visit and the special relationship 

Earlier, the US presidential couple had been welcomed at the entrance to Buckingham Palace by the Queen and Prince Philip  

Her Majesty shows the Obamas exhibits during a tour of the Queen's gallery, with artefacts including a collection of letters from American presidents to British sovereigns 

The party laughed gamely as they struggled with high winds during a full ceremonial welcome in the gardens of the palace 

They were greeted by a sight that has struck fear into the hearts of Britain's enemies for centuries: the Band, Pipes and Drums of 1st Battalion Scots Guards 

Prince Phillip invited Mr Obama to inspect the guard while their wives looked on from the steps 

A more sombre moment during the visit with a trip to Westminster Abbey 

Like all visiting heads of state, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior 

Talking to choirboys, he said he hoped on his next trip to be allowed to come and sing in the Abbey 

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