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Trump invites Macron to dine at George Washington's home

Brigitte Macron (L), wife of French President Emmanuel Macron (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (2ndL) and First lady Melania Trump at Eiffel Tower's Jules Verne restaurant last year REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Donald and Melania Trump will dine with Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, at the start of the French president's state visit to the US in April. The invitation returns the favour of a private dinner for the two couples in a restaurant on the Eiffel Tower during the Trumps's visit to Paris last year.

The foursome dining at the founding father's massive estate will be a "beautiful reminder of France's unique status as America's very first ally going all the way back to the revolution", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, without specifying which revolution she was referring to.

Macron is making the first state visit of the Trump presidency and will attend a state dinner at the White House the following evening, 24 April.

He will address Congress on 25 April.

Previous visitors

The Mount Vernon estate - a 21-room white mansion amid hundreds of acres of grounds on the banks of the Potomac river, 20km south of Washington - is a top tourist destination.

Several heads of state have visited it, among them France's Nicolas Sarkozy when George W Bush was president in 2007, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain in 2015 when Barack Obama was president, and Pakistani president Ayub Khan in 1961.

The military dictator, who was to be toppled by massive protests eight years later, told his hosts John F and Jackie Kennedy that the house was "a symbol of the United States - the past, the present and, we hope, the future".

Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla also visited in 2015 but what CNN TV enthusiastically describes as an "intimate ... double-date dinner" appears to be unprecedented.