The Queen has welcomed Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos to the UK at the start of his official state visit.Mr Santos and his wife Maria Clemencia Rodriguez de Santos are staying with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in London, and will be entertained at a lavish state banquet there on Tuesday evening.It is the first time a state visit to the UK has been carried out by a Colombian president and comes after Mr Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end one of the world’s longest-running civil wars.Following time-honoured tradition, Philip led the visiting head of state to inspect the Guard of Honour. The President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos and First Lady of Colombia Maria Clemencia Rodriguez Moenera arrive at Stansted Airport on MondayCredit:HANNAH MCKAY/EPA Mr Johnson has previously spoken of how Britain is planning to further develop its links with Colombia in the wake of the peace efforts and the Brexit vote.”Colombia is on the verge of a historic peace agreement and through our ongoing support for the country the UK is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that will follow,” he said.He added: “As we leave the EU, Britain remains a bold and outward-looking nation, and we are forging a new global role and taking advantage of economic and diplomatic opportunities in the wider world, beyond Europe.” The Queen grins as she speaks to the Colombian president’s wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez de SantosCredit:Gareth Fuller/PA The president and his wife last met the Queen at a private audience in 2011. They will later take tea with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House.Charles and Camilla already know the president and the First Lady after they travelled to Colombia for an official visit in 2014 – made possible due to the improved security situation there. Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrive to take part in the ceremonial welcomeCredit:Stefan Wermuth/Getty The president and first lady will later attend a state banquet for 170 guests in the palace ballroom. The London Eye will be lit up in yellow, blue and red – the colours of the Colombian flag.Talks at Downing Street with Mrs May will be held on Wednesday in what is the first state visit since she became Prime Minister.The president will also travel to Northern Ireland on Thursday to meet community leaders in Belfast and discuss the challenges of community reconciliation post-conflict.Mr Santos, 65, is said to be a voracious reader, a film buff and an old friend of former PM Tony Blair. They co-authored a book in 1999 on the Third Way, the political philosophy followed by Mr Santos after its adoption by Mr Blair. Flags of the UK and Colombia flying on the MallCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA The Colombian President and his wife arrive at Stansted for their state visitCredit:Neil Hall/REUTERS President Santos walked past the lines of Guardsmen, glancing at the soldiers who, when not performing ceremonial duties, are active servicemen.The Duke walked a few paces behind the foreign leader, who strode ahead past the lines of troops in their grey greatcoats and famous bearskins.Earlier, the Queen, who wore an ensemble by Angela Kelly – green cashmere coat, silk crepe dress in shades of apple green, grey and gold lame, and matching hat – introduced Mr Santos and his wife to Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd. President Santos walks past the lines of Guardsmen at Horse Guards Parade, with the Duke of Edinburgh walking a few paces behind the foreign leaderCredit:FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA Theresa May curtseys as she meets the Queen during a ceremonial welcome for Colombia’s President Juan Manuel SantosCredit:Gareth Fuller/PA After the welcome ceremony ended, the Queen and her visitors left in a carriage procession for Buckingham Palace.Mr Santos was hailed for his political courage over a peace deal with left-wing Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels, although the accord was narrowly rejected by Colombians in a vote.More than 220,000 people – mostly civilians – were killed in 52-year long hostilities and more than eight million people were driven from their homes. The president has pledged to donate his Nobel Peace Prize money to the victims of the conflict, and to deliver a peace accord by Christmas.The first lady, known to her family as Tutina, is the mother of their three children Martin, Maria Antonia and Esteban.She studied as a graphic designer and leads the humanitarian initiative Colombia Humanitaria, a state strategy that deals with natural and environmental disasters. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.