(CNN) - President Obama addressed both houses of Britain's Parliament Wednesday, the second day of a state visit blending pomp, ceremony and diplomacy. Obama's speech was described by a top aide as an anchor for his European trip.
12:15 p.m ET - The president's motorcade arrived back at Buckingham Palace.
11:58 a.m. ET - From CNN's Shubert: Outside by parliament square, a smattering of protesters that Obama must have passed, including two guys in orange jumpsuits with banners to close Guantanamo Bay Prison.
Meanwhile, a tourist stopped me and asked breathlessly "do you have a spare program?"
11:46 a.m. ET - From CNN's Shubert: Overheard from woman in audience say "OMG! Did you totally get to shake his hand?!" And not "oh my god" she really said "omg."
11:43 a.m. ET - From CNN's Shubert: Doorkeepers attempting to stop photo taking, unsuccessfully. Every other person seems to have whipped out a phone for pictures, even some jaded journalists. A final wave, a big cheer and Obama's off.
11:36 a.m. ET - From CNN's Shubert: British press seems less than impressed with the speech. "Not particularly memorable," one reporter said next to me.
"I think I preferred Dublin," another said behind me.
All members of the press are standing on seats to get a good view as Obama makes his way out of the Hall, shaking hands as he leaves.
11:28 a.m. ET - CNN’s Zane Verjee responds to the speech: “It was orate, it was rhetorical, it was eloquent."
11:27 a.m. ET - "Politicians campaign in poetry, govern in prose," the Lords speaker quotes. "But in your address you remind us of the need to maintain the poetry," he said.
11:25 a.m. ET - CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley said: "This is the Obama campaign for re-election"
11:24 a.m. ET - From CNN's Shubert: Lords speaker calls speech "memorable and inspiring." Spontaneous applause shows audience agrees.
11:23 a.m. ET - From CNN's Shubert: Standing ovation and sustained applause for the president's speech.
11:21 a.m. ET - @AWMooneyCNN: No speech to British parliament is complete without Churchill quote
11:20 a.m. ET - Obama closes with a Churchill quote: “In the long years to come, not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we’ve done, and they will say ‘do not despair, do not yield…march straightforward.’”
11:18 a.m. ET - Obama said the example set by the United States and Britain make it possible for "the sons and daughters of former colonies to sit here as members of this great Parliament, and for the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British Army to stand before you as President of the United States. That is what defines us." He then received a round of applause.
11:17 a.m. ET - @BryanMonroeCNN: From Obama Parliament speech: "Power rarely gives up without a fight" as Obama paraphrases Frederick Douglass.
11:15 a.m. ET - From CNN's Shubert: Medical emergency to audience member. Medic rushed in with first aid kit. Pulled out mask and oxygen tank. Man taken out in wheelchair
11:13 a.m. ET - Obama said the United States and United Kingdom "will not relent until the people of Libya are protected, and the shadow of tyranny is lifted."
11:11 a.m. ET - Obama: "...what we saw in Tehran, Tunis and Tahrir Square is a longing for the same freedoms that we take for granted at home ... So let there be no doubt: the United States and United Kingdom stand squarely on the side of those who long to be free. Now we must show that we will back up these words with deeds."
Obama said that action includes expanding trade and commerce with Tunisia and Egypt and "standing up for universal rights."
11:08 a.m. ET - When discussing human suffering around the world, Obama said "In the Middle East, we stand united in our support for a secure Israel and a sovereign Palestine."
11:06 a.m. ET - @AWMooneyCNN: 2nd OBL mention - we will not relent, as Osama bin Laden and his followers have learned.
11:05 a.m. ET - Obama frames the fight to end terrorism: "Terrorists have taken the lives of our citizens in New York and in London. And while al Qaeda seeks a religious war with the West, let’s remember that they have killed thousands of Muslims – men, women and children – around the globe. Our nations will never be at war with Islam. Our fight is focused on defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies. In that effort, we will not relent, as Osama bin Laden and his followers have learned."
11:00 a.m. ET - @AWMooneyCNN: polite laughter from parliament after Obama says sometimes he could use a stiff drink
10:57 a.m. ET - Jokes that the days are gone when Roosevelt and Churchill sat in a room and solved problems over a glass of brandy, "though I’m sure Prime Minister Cameron would agree that some days we could both use a stiff drink."
10:54 a.m. ET - Obama talks about the growth of countries like "China, India and Brazil." He said the two countries should welcome their development that has "lifted hundreds of millions from poverty around the globe, and created new markets and opportunities for our own nations."
But adds: "As this rapid change has taken place, it has become fashionable in some quarters to question whether the rise of these nations will accompany the decline of American and European influence around the world. Perhaps, the argument goes, these nations represent the future, and the time for our leadership has passed. That argument is wrong."
10:51 a.m. ET - Obama: "Our relationship is special because of the values and beliefs that have united our people through the ages ... As Winston Churchill said, the 'Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.'"
10:49 a.m. ET - Obama: "I’m told the last three speakers here have been The Pope, Her Majesty the Queen, and Nelson Mandela, which is either a very high bar or the beginning of a very funny joke." CNN's Shubert: Genuine laughs from the opening joke.
10:48 a.m. ET - CNN's Shubert: Standing ovation for the president. And quite an impressive welcome from Speaker Bercow.
10:45 a.m. ET - John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons introduces the president.
10:42 a.m. ET - Obama enters Westminster Hall. White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon are among those on stage a few feet from the podium.
10:36 a.m. ET - CNN's Shubert: Trumpet players so still they look like toy pieces!
10:33 a.m. ET - CNN's Shubert: Dead silence in anticipation
10:31 a.m. ET - CNN's Shubert: Buzz as trumpets come out. Lots of giggling.
10:25 a.m. ET - From CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert: Lots of twitter comments on the grandeur of Westminster Hall. It is beautiful. Light is pouring through the stained glass and there are wooden beams with carved angels. A sense of history and majesty. Traveling photographers just arrived. Prime Minister Brown and former Prime Minister Blair seem to be having a good chat while they wait.
10:21 a.m. ET - Obama is the first American president to speak before both chambers, the House of Lords and House of Commons, at Westminster Hall.
10:20 a.m. ET - From CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert: Can hear the helicopters hovering above the Hall – must be near. Definite buzz of anticipation as the president enters the Hall.
10:10 a.m. ET - Obama is in the presidential motorcade en route to Parliament.
10:07 a.m. ET - 1,600 people were invited to the address, 1,400 of whom are MPS and Peers. The other 200 are invited guests from each side, according to the White House.
10:07 a.m. ET - From CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert: The doors are now closed and the Hall is just about full. Another bit of historical color: During maintenance work on the roof of the Hall in the 1920's, they found several ancient tennis balls. King Henry VIII was a keen player, of course. But there is no firm evidence that the Hall was used for tennis.
10:01 a.m. ET - From CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert: We've moved into the "marching" section of the music program – definitely priming the audience for the main event. Enthusiastic rounds of applause.
I believe former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie are seated in front.
9:55 a.m. ET - From CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert: Seems like well over 1000 ppl seated for the speech now. Most of the attending MPs and Lords are seated.
One Tory MP has tweeted that he's hoping for a "clear new vision of foreign policy in North Africa."
Interestingly, all mobiles are supposed to be off. Hasn't stopped some rather excited MPs, and press, from tweeting their anticipation.
9:29 a.m. ET - From CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert: Sniffer dogs just walked in to do a final check of the Hall, which is about half full now. The Doorkeepers are all wearing formal court dress, which is essentially white tie with tails. Westminster Hall is officially a palace.
In fact, it was originally built as a palace by William II, before becoming at various times a banqueting hall for coronations and a courthouse for the trials of King Charles I, Sir Thomas More and William Wallace (of Braveheart fame). All were tried for treason, found guilty and executed.
However, there is a visible hierarchy amongst Westminster Hall staff. Higher ups have a more elaborate uniform of a ruffled white collar, black tights and a black ribbon at the back of the jacket collar originally used to keep their powdered wigs in order.
All of this was kindly explained to me by a friendly Doorkeeper.
When I asked a member of the British press about it, the answer was: "We just call them Men in Tights."
9:06 a.m. ET - From CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert seated in the press section of Westminster Hall: There is a queue to get in and several members of parliament have entered to take their seats while the Band of the Welsh Guards plays.
According to the order of proceedings, President Obama will enter from the Sovereign's Entrance and be greeted by the Lord Great Chamberlain and the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, the Lord Speaker Rt. Hon. Baroness Hayman and the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Obama will then make his address and eventually leave through Westminster Hall's North Door.