News President Trump

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Donald Trump welcomed to Buckingham Palace by Britain's Queen Elizabeth

  • Queen greets Trump at Buckingham Palace
  • Trump in fresh jibe against London mayor
  • Comments on Brexit, Conservatives strain diplomatic norms
  • Trump, Melania to get taste of pomp, royal pageantry
  • President will warn Britain against dealing with Huawei
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she officially welcomes US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) during their visit on June 03, 2019 at Buckingham Palace in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she officially welcomes US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) during their visit on June 03, 2019 at Buckingham Palace in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Steve Holland and Toby Melville

Britain rolled out the royal red carpet for Donald Trump on Monday but the pomp, pageantry and banquet with Queen Elizabeth looked set to be overshadowed by the US President's views on Brexit, the UK's next leader and a row over China's Huawei.

Trump and his wife, Melania, were greeted by the 93-year-old monarch at Buckingham Palace at the start of a three-day state visit which sees him feted with the full force of royal ceremony: a formal dinner with the queen, tea with heir Prince Charles, and a tour of Westminster Abbey, coronation church of English monarchs for 1,000 years.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II (second left) officially welcomes US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) during their visit on June 03, 2019 at Buckingham Palace in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II (second left) officially welcomes US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) during their visit on June 03, 2019 at Buckingham Palace in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II (2nd left) officially welcomes US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019 in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Simon Dawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II (second left) officially welcomes US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019 in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Simon Dawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

"I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit," Trump wrote on Twitter as he landed at London's Stansted Airport.

But beyond the theatre, the proudly unpredictable 45th US president is rocking the boat with the United States' closest ally, whose political establishment has been in chaos for months over Britain's departure from the European Union.

As he was flying into the British capital, he reignited a feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan - who had written on Sunday that Britain should not be rolling out the red carpet for the US president - describing him as a "stone cold loser.

The state visit, promised by Prime Minister Theresa May back in January 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to meet him after he took office, is cast as a chance to celebrate Britain's "special relationship" with the United States, boost trade links and reaffirm security cooperation.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) meets with US President Donald Trump (R) and US First Lady Melania Trump (L) during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of the US president and First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP)TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) meets with US President Donald Trump (R) and US First Lady Melania Trump (L) during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of the US president and First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP)TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she officially welcomes US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) during their visit on June 03, 2019 at Buckingham Palace in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
(L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall smile as they watch an honour guard during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
(L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and US President Donald Trump watch an honour guard during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) stands with US President Donald Trump (R) and US First Lady Melania Trump (L) as they listen to the US national anthem during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of the US president and First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP)TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) talks with US President Donald Trump (R) during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of the US president and First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - Britain rolled out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump on June 3 as he arrived in Britain for a state visit already overshadowed by his outspoken remarks on Brexit. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP)TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images

At Buckingham Palace, Melania, stood beside Elizabeth and Charles's wife Camilla, while Charles and Trump inspected the guard.

Trump will have lunch with the queen before the monarch's second son Prince Andrew accompanies him to Westminster Abbey where the president will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

The day culminates with a lavish state banquet at Buckingham Palace - where men wear white tie coats with tails and women evening gowns.

UNCONVENTIONAL

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she officially welcomes US President Donald Trump (L) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) during their visit on June 03, 2019 at Buckingham Palace in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she officially welcomes US President Donald Trump (L) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) during their visit on June 03, 2019 at Buckingham Palace in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II greets US President Donald Trump as he arrives for the Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II greets US President Donald Trump as he arrives for the Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Buckingham Palace, in London, Britain, June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
Queen Elizabeth II greets US President Donald Trump as he arrives for the Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

But away from the pageantry, Trump is set to make his trip the most unconventional state visit in recent British history.

He has already waded far into Britain's turbulent domestic politics, where more than a dozen candidates are vying to replace May, who announced last month she was quitting after failing to get her EU divorce deal through parliament.

The president, who has regularly criticised May's Brexit tactics, said Britain must leave the bloc on the due date of October 31 with or without a deal and praised a more radical Brexit-supporting potential successor as British leader.

He also called for arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage, a scourge of May's ruling Conservative Party, to conduct talks with the EU.

Brexit is the most significant geopolitical move for the United Kingdom since World War Two and if it ever happens then London will be more reliant on the United States as ties loosen with the other 27 members of the EU.

HUAWEI TENSIONS

At a meeting with May, Trump will also warn Britain that security cooperation, a cornerstone of the western intelligence network, could be hurt if London allows China's Huawei a role in building parts of the 5G network, the next generation of cellular technology.

The Trump administration has told allies not to use its 5G technology and equipment because of fears it would allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data. Huawei denies it is, or could be, a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Britain last month it needed to change its attitude towards China and Huawei, casting the world's second largest economy as a threat to the West similar to that once posed by the Soviet Union.

Britain's relationship with the United States is an enduring alliance, but some British voters see Trump as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on issues ranging from global warming to his treatment of women.

Hundreds of thousands protested against him during a trip last year and a blimp depicting Trump as a snarling, nappy-clad baby will fly outside Britain's parliament during the visit. Other protesters plan a "carnival of resistance" in central London.

Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, who has declined an invitation to attend the state banquet, scolded Trump for getting involved in British politics.

Another senior Labour lawmaker, Yvette Cooper, said it was wrong to gift Trump the opportunity of photographs with the royal to boost his re-election campaign next year.

"So appalled Theresa May has given this man a red carpeted platform to do this," she wrote on Twitter. "Doesn’t help Britain to be lavishing pomp on a president so determined to be divisive, childish & destructive."

While Monday is dominated by pageantry, the second day of Trump's trip will focus on politics, including a breakfast with business leaders, talks with May in 10 Downing Street, a news conference and a dinner at the US ambassador's residence.

Reuters

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