Stansted: Late night welcome for Barack and Michelle Obama

US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle landed to a hastily-prepared welcome at Stansted Airport last night, as their schedule was moved ahead because of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

The president and first lady landed in Air Force One just after 10.15pm, arriving in darkness rather than the morning light they were due to be greeted by today.

But despite the hasty change to their planned schedule, the couple were still given the formal welcome expected of a state visit.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were originally due to meet the Obamas, but instead the couple were greeted by the Lord in Waiting Viscount Brookeborough, who met them on behalf of the Queen.

And instead of a traditional red carpet they left the plane on special red-carpeted stairs because of windy conditions at the airport.

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Today they are set to meet newly-wed Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace.

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