Britain’s queen and Gordon Brown send good wishes to Obama

January 21st, 2009 - 1:55 am ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Jan 21 (DPA) Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Gordon Brown Tuesday sent messages of support to US President Barack Obama as parties were held across Britain to mark the handover of power in the US.The queen, 82, who has during her reign since 1952 met all US presidents with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson, is expected to meet Obama when he comes to London for a summit of G20 nations in April.

Details of the private message sent by the monarch on the eve of Obama’s inauguration have not been released.

Brown, in a letter to Obama, said he was “ready to work very closely with his administration on many of the international challenges we face”.

Brown’s spokesman played down suggestions that he was in a race with other European leaders, such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to be the first to secure an invitation to visit Obama at the White House.

“I would remind you that George Bush’s first meeting with a European leader was with President Chirac of France, so we wouldn’t attach too much importance to who has what meetings when,” said Brown’s spokesman.

Meanwhile, US citizens in Britain and African and Afro-Caribbean communities organised parties across the country to celebrate the inauguration.

In London, Berlin, New York and Shanghai waxworks of Obama were on display at Madame Tussauds’ museums.

In London, where US citizens were granted free entry to Madame Tussauds for the day of the inauguration, people could be seen crowding around Obama’s wax figure.

“It’s a big day for me, history in the making,” said Michaela, a 22-year-old woman visiting from the US.

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