A-list ladies have turned out in their droves to see Barack Obama publically sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. FLOTUS' biggest supporters Katy Perry, Beyonce and Eva Longoria, were the epitome of elegance as they arrived for their important date at Capitol Hill.
Beyonce– who serenaded the president with Etta James' At Last on inauguration night in 2009 – had been drafted in to sing the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. And Katy was fresh from Saturday's Kids' Inaugural Concert, where she sang for Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, who is 12. Eva, meanwhile, showed her support throughout Barack Obama's re-election campaign, and now his second term is official, the Desperate Housewives actress was always going to be present. Also spotted arriving was Kelly Clarkson, who was set to perform My Country Tis of Thee. Between 600,000 and 800,000 were expected for the event, which bears the theme 'Faith in America’s Future'. Four years ago Barack Obama's inauguration as America's first African-American president took place in a heady atmosphere that combined history in the making with all the fervour of a pop concert.
This time, in keeping with the economic times, the celebrations will be more muted. But this being Hollywood's favourite politician, there will still be a measure of glitz, with Smokey Robinson, Usher, John Legend and Alicia Keys all joining Beyonce and Kelly on the official White House playlist. The 44th commander-in-chief took the oath of office on January 20 – the date mandated by the US Constitution. Because this was a Sunday it was a private ceremony – followed by Monday's public extravaganza on the steps of the Capitol. Chief Justice John Roberts has been named to administer the oath to the president, using two bibles – one owned by Martin Luther King Jr and the other by Abraham Lincoln. Justice Sonia Sotomayor will do the honours for Vice-President Joe Biden.
The Hawaii-born statesman has also asked Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco to compose the Inaugural Poem – he is the first immigrant, gay, Latino person to be selected for the prestigious role. Next, in a tradition dating back to 1789, comes a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, featuring marching bands from members of the Armed Forces and eight floats representing the first and second families. These include the Hawaii and Illinois State Floats in reference to where the Obamas are from, the Pennsylvania State Float for the birthplace of the VP and a wagon for Delaware State, where he and his wife Dr Jill Biden made their home.