Following what is being widely viewed as a successful United Kingdom visit, Barack Obama stood on the runway at a blustery Stansted airport and gave his wife a peck on the cheek before leaving for the G8 summit in Deauville. Michelle Obama returns to the US separately. Last night, the Obamas hosted a dinner in the Queen's honour as a thank you for Tuesday's state banquet at Buckingham Palace. More than 50 guests were invited including the prime minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, footballer David Beckham, actors Colin Firth and Tom Hanks, and Harry Potter author JK Rowling to the dinner at Winfield House in Regent's Park, the official residence of the US ambassador to Britain, Louis Susman. During his two-day visit to the UK, Obama recast the ties between the UK and America as not just special but "essential". The president and prime minister held talks at Downing Street, where they also hosted a barbecue for military service personnel and their families.