It’s a formal meeting of State Heads, usually lasting a few days. Foreign and Commonwealth Office invites Monarchs, Presidents and Prime Ministers to visit Her Majesty in Great Britain for this special occasion.
The special visitors are greeted by HM The Queen and other members of the Royal Family with a grand ceremonial welcome. A state banquet is usually held on the first evening of the visit to Buckingham Palace. Here, Her Majesty gives a speech to the distinguished visitors and other specially invited guests.
The State visitors also meet the Prime Minister and other leaders in the nation that have diplomatic importance to the relationship between the two countries. They also visit places and organisations that are important to the visiting nation.
For more details on State Visits, see royal.uk/state-visits
‘When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind.’ 1 Chronicles 9:1
‘She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. 2 Chronicles 9: 5-6
Father, thank you that you know each and every Monarch, President and Head of State around the world. You know how they think, how they act and what their plans are, today and in the future. Nothing is hidden from you as your ways and thoughts are higher than ours. You have made Kings and Queens to maintain justice and righteousness in the lands they are placed. Lord, make them wise rulers of nations, so that there may be peace throughout the world.
As I consider and remember the State Visits that happen here in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, I know that you are over and above the plans and the purposes of Kings & Queens, and Head of States. So with this knowledge, I pray that you would be present in the State Visits to Buckingham Palace.
‘Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God.’ 2 Chronicles 9: 8
Just as the Queen of Sheba came to visit King Solomon in the Bible, I pray that the Heads of State that come to visit Queen Elizabeth would be amazed at her knowledge, insight and faith in You. May they see with their own eyes how You have blessed the nation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland because of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. As Queen Sheba came to visit King Solomon in the Bible, I pray that the Heads of State that come to visit Queen Elizabeth would be amazed at her knowledge, insight and faith in You. May they see with their own eyes how You have blessed the nation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland because of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. As Queen Sheba exclaimed,
‘She was also amazed at the food on his tables, the organisation of his officials and their splendid clothing, the cup-bearers and their robes, and the burnt offerings Solomon made at the Temple of the Lord.’ 2 Chronicles 9:4
‘How happy your people must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom!’ 2 Chronicles 9:7
I pray for the foreign and diplomatic officials in Her Majesty’s office and government. I pray for the responsibilities they hold. As they plan the state visits, coordinating times and places, people and departments, give them wisdom and insight in the logistics and timing of a State Visit. Not only the officials in this country but for those in the visiting country of the State Visit. As cultures, time zones and priorities differ, give each diplomatic official, from both States, a willingness to listen deeply and to learn from those they communicate with. Grant the officials who serve in Buckingham Palace and the Foreign & Commonwealth Offices their due reward. I pray that their impeccable planning would be noted and encouragement given like that of Queen Sheba above.
‘He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.’ Acts 17:24-27
Thank you God that you know the rise and fall of nations. Thank you that you desire the nations to seek after you. I pray that when State Heads meet, in whatever nation or location, that they would seek after You. Draw near to them as they discuss matters of importance to each nation. Strengthen the relationship between nations through these State Visits and face to face talks.
As gifts are exchanged, speeches read, places of importance visited, and prayers are said, Lord hear our prayer for nations to seek firstly after You, the Maker and Creator of the World we live in.
In your precious name I ask Jesus,