The President's Trip to Ireland and the United Kingdom

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Audience with the Queen
Audience Room, Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the London home of Queen Elizabeth II. Purchased by King George III in 1792 as a town dwelling for Queen Charlotte, the house was transformed into a palace in 1825 by the architect John Nash at the request of King George IV. Victoria lived there from 1837 until her death in 1901 Ė the first Sovereign to use the palace as a primary residence.

The Palace is a working building and the centerpiece of Britain's constitutional monarchy. It houses the offices of those who support the day-to-day activities and duties of the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and their immediate family. The Palace is also the venue for great Royal ceremonies, state visits and investitures, all of which are organized by the Royal household.

The Palace has 600 rooms, including 19 State Rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms and 78 bathrooms. More than 400 staff work here; over 40,000 guests are entertained annually at the palace.

Buckingham Palace itself has only recently been open to the public. Following the 1992 fire at Windsor Castle, the Queen decided to open Buckingham palace to the public in order to raise funds to restore Windsor Castle. The Palace's State Rooms were opened for tours beginning in 1993.

The Queen's Audience Room is where the Queen receives the Prime Minister for a weekly audience. It is on the second floor on the northwest corner of the Palace, beyond the Queen's Private Apartments. The Audience Room has pale duck blue walls with white-painted moldings, ceiling and windows. The curtains are pale beige silk. There is a piano, and furniture includes sofas and chairs that are covered in yellow silk. Paintings in the room include two Canalettos and two full-length portraits by Thomas Gainsborough.

When not in residence at Buckingham Palace, the Queen divides her time between Windsor Castle, Holyrood Palace and Balmoral Castle in Scotland, and Sandringham House in Norfolk.


Speech at Warwick University
Butterworth Hall

A modern university that accepted its first undergraduates in 1965, Warwick (pronounced War-ick), is now one of Britainís leading institutions of higher learning, with over 15,000 students attached to its 29 academic departments and 40-plus research institutes in the faculties of Arts, Science and Social Studies. [It is a world-class facility, ranked only behind Cambridge, Oxford and the London School of Economics as one of the United Kingdomís top research institutions.]

The Universityís Center for the Study of Globalization and Regionalization (CSGR) was inaugurated in 1997 and is now the largest such research center in Europe. The Centerís research agenda focuses on defining and evaluating the policy implications of globalization. The CSGR is in the process of establishing collaborative links with similar research centers in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Butterworth Hall is located in the Arts Center. Completed in 1974, the Arts Center is the largest performance and visual arts complex of its kind in the UK outside London.


The President will depart London en route Washington on the afternoon of Thursday, December 14.

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