The Queen is hosting the Arab leader’s three-day official trip, which will strengthen Britain’s already strong relations with the Middle East nation.
Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was formally welcomed during a glittering military ceremony staged in Windsor and attended by senior royals.
The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales were present to greet the 83-year-old Arab leader, who is likely to see the visit as both a personal and political highlight of his career.
Handshakes between the British and Kuwaiti heads of state were made in the centre of Windsor as well-wishers looked on.
But the full ceremonial greeting came within historic Windsor Castle’s quadrangle where the 1st Battalion Irish Guards were formed as the guard of honour.
The royal party arrived at the castle – said to be the Queen’s favourite home – in a carriage procession accompanied by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in their breastplates and plumed helmets.
Kuwait is a key Western ally in the Gulf and allowed US troops to launch the invasion of Iraq from its territory in 2003.