US President Barack Obama has joked that Prince George’s dressing gown reception was a sign he is on his way out of office.

Images of the prince meeting the president and wife Michelle in his pyjamas were broadcast around the world after the couple spent an evening with Prince William and Kate at Kensington Palace during their official visit to Britain last month.

Obama described George, two, as “adorable” during the trip, but reflecting on the moment during his speech at the star-studded White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday he suggested, light-heartedly, that the young prince’s attire held much broader significance.

He quipped to laughter that being greeted by George in his bathrobe was a slight akin to the Republican leaders no longer answering his phone calls, a sign attention is elsewhere as he prepares to leave office later this year.