Vejonis' UK tour rolls out west

Take note – story published 7 years ago

Latvia's President Raimonds Vejonis continues his official visit to the United Kingdom Wednesday.

In a packed schedule on Tuesday he laid a wreath in Westminster Abbey in memory of Britian's war dead, met parliamentary speaker John Bercow and was provided with a cup of tea at Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II, whom he politely invited to visit to Latvia to celebrate its centenary in 2018.

The 90-year-old monarch was resplendent in a floral print summer dress in mint green with gold motifs. The President meanwhile sported a suitably somber dark suit with a subtle splash of colour provided by a tie (It is customary in UK press to describe clothes at such meetings, for some reason).

Later he met members of the Latvian diaspora community, urging them to maintain their ties with their homeland.

"I am delighted to see how friendly you all are," Vejonis told his audience. 

"It is important for Latvians abroad to maintain unity and help each other. Then we won;t forget where we came from, and will continue Latvian traditions," the President urged, saying the same applied to earlier generations of refugees from Latvia who found refuge in the UK after World War II, and to the more modern generations of economic migrants.

On Wednesday Vejonis heads to the West Country to visit the headquarters of NATO's rapid reaction force, to which Latvia contributes, in the ancient city of Gloucester, which is also famous for its rugby team, its cheese (and the related sport of cheese rolling) and the Gloucester Old Spot breed of pig, which makes remarkably good sausages. 

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