State banquet

A state banquet is an official banquet hosted by the head of state in his or her official residence for another head of state, or sometimes head of government, and other guests. Usually as part of a state visit or diplomatic conference, it is held to celebrate diplomatic ties between the host and guest countries. Depending on time of the day, it may be referred to as a state dinner or state lunch. The size varies, but the numbers of diners may run into the hundreds.

Round tables laid for a state dinner in the State Dining Room at the White House. The large gold charger plates are from the Eisenhower china service.

In the Western world, state banquet protocol traditionally prescribe formal wear white tie or morning dress events that comprise military honor guards, a four or five course meal, musical entertainment, and ball room dancing. There are normally short speeches and toasts made by the host and principal guest.

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