UK welcomes President of the Republic of Korea with spectacular State Visit

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mage of the President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol (centre-right), accompanied by Mrs Kim Keon Hee (left), seen here with His Majesty The King at Horse Guards Parade in London today (21/11/2023). Photographer: Petty Officer Joel Rouse - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023. MOD Crown Copyright News / Editorial Licence.

The President and the First Lady of South Korea are currently in London on the first day of their State Visit to the UK.

A State Banquet will be held in their honour at Buckingham Palace this evening.

The President of the Republic of Korea and Mrs Kim Keon Hee were welcomed on Horse Guards Parade in London on the first day of their State Visit to the UK. 

Following a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, given by The King, His Majesty invited The President and the First Lady to view a special exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to the Republic of Korea.

The President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol arrives at the Royal Pavilion on Horse Guards Parade. Photographer: Sergeant Rob Kane – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023. MOD Crown Copyright News / Editorial Licence.

After lunch, The President and the First Lady, with His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial, to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.  

The President and the First Lady then visited Westminster Abbey, where His Excellency laid a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. The President and the First Lady then took a tour of the Abbey, where they met pensioners from the Royal Hospital Chelsea who saw active service during the Korean War.

This afternoon, The President and the First Lady travelled to the Palace of Westminster, where they were welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker. The President delivered an Address in the Royal Gallery to Members of both Houses of Parliament and other guests. 

F Company Scots Guards and the Household Cavalry Regiment await the arrival of the TM the King and Queen. Photographer: Sergeant Rob Kane Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023 – MOD Crown Copyright News / Editorial Licence.

In the evening The King, accompanied by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family, will give a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace for The President and the First Lady. His Majesty and The President will both make speeches at the start of the banquet.

Wednesday 22nd November

In the morning, The President will attend Shaping the Future: UK-Korea Business Forum at Mansion House. The forum will bring together CEOs and business representatives from both nations to discuss working together to create business opportunities, and The President will give the opening speech at the event. 

Later that morning, at the Royal Society, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh will accompany The President for a roundtable discussion on how we can collectively strengthen the role of basic science to advance humanity, where His Excellency will deliver remarks. The President will be joined for the discussion by notable UK and Korean scientific minds, and will view highlights from the Royal Society’s archives alongside Her Royal Highness.

In the afternoon, The President and the First Lady will travel to No. 10 Downing Street, where The President will have a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP. The First Lady will be hosted by Mrs Murty at No. 10 Downing Street. 

Later that afternoon, The President will receive a call by the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer MP. 

In the evening, The President and the First Lady, joined by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, will attend a Banquet at the Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation.

The Lord Mayor and The President will both make speeches at the end of the banquet.

Thursday 23rd November

In the morning, The President will visit the Churchill War Rooms.

The President and the First Lady will then return to Buckingham Palace to formally bid farewell to The King at the end of the State Visit.

The Lord Chamberlain will bid farewell to The President and the First Lady on behalf of The King, before they depart from Stansted Airport.

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