Queen Elizabeth II was given a red carpet welcome at the White House on Tuesday, complete with a 21-gun salute, a fife and drum band and praise from President Bush, who called her "freedom's friend."

The 65-year-old queen, making her third state visit to the United States, reciprocated with praise for the former British colony. "At your kind invitation, we are here to celebrate and reaffirm that friendship," she told Bush.Huge crowds gathered on the White House lawn to watch the queen, who wore a purple suit and matching boater.

Before their brief remarks, the queen shook hands with Vice President Dan Quayle and Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Bush and the queen spoke on the South Lawn, facing the White House with their backs to the Washington Monument. Crowds of tourists strained to get a glimpse of the queen as she stood on a red-carpet podium with the president.

Bush said the royal visit came at a time when the two countries were celebrating their victory in the Persian Gulf. "Like Monty and Ike and Churchill and FDR, we linked hands and hearts in the gulf to do what was right and good," he said.

Addressing the queen, Bush said, "You have been freedom's friend for as long as we remember, back to World War II when at 18 you joined the war against fascism. It was then that America began to know you as one of us, came to love you."

A state dinner was scheduled in her honor at the White House Wednesday night.

On Thursday, she was to become the first British monarch to address a joint session of Congress. Her speech was expected to highlight Anglo-American friendship in the wake of the Persian Gulf war, and express congratulations to Bush for leadership during the crisis.

The queen and her husband also will visit Dallas, San Antonio and Houston before taking a few days of private vacation in Kentucky. The queen, an avid horsewoman, has made frequent private trips to Kentucky to attend sales and view horses.