Mexican president given glittering royal welcome in London
Mexican President Felipe Calderon was given a full military welcome, accompanied by pomp and pageantry, during his reception by Queen Elizabeth II for a state visit to Britain Monday, dpa reported.
The queen, 82, greeted the Mexican leader and his wife, Margarita Zavala, in bright sunshine at the historic Horseguards Parade ground at the start of the visit during which Calderon will take part in the Group of 20 (G20) summit meeting.
The couple will be guests of the queen and stay at Buckingham Palace for the duration of their visit.
A spokeswoman said the queen had given the Mexican president a leather-bound first edition of George Orwell's groundbreaking novel 1984, which depicts a totalitarian regime and coined the concept of Big Brother.
"Apparently the president really admires George Orwell," the spokeswoman said.
The queen was given a Maque tray from Michoacan, the Mexican state from which the president comes.
"Mexico's role in global politics continues to deepen. This visit is a timely opportunity for us to strengthen our co-operation on some of the world's biggest challenges," a statement released by Britain's Foreign Office said.
Thousands lined the Mall, the tree-lined avenue between Horseguards Parade and the Palace, as the queen and her guests travelled past in horse-drawn carriages.
At one point, the Mexican president took the queen's black gloved hand to offer her assistance as she stepped from the carriage.