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Trump gets the royal treatment with state visit to the United Kingdom

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JUNE 3, 2019

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II greets President Donald Trump as he arrives for the Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace, in London, June 3, 2019. – Victoria Jones/Pool via Reuters

President Trump kicks off state visit to UK

LONDON – The Queen of England opened the gates to Buckingham Palace to welcome President Trump for an honorary state visit to the United Kingdom on Monday.

On Monday morning, President Trump and the first lady touched down in London and then were received by the queen, Prince Charles, and Charles’ wife, Camilla, later Monday with an elaborate welcome at Buckingham Palace. President Trump and the first lady were met with a royal gun salute, which fired off fire 82 shots, half to honor the president and the other half to honor the anniversary of the queen’s coronation.

On the palace grounds, the president and the first lady, who wore a Dolce & Gabbana suit with a custom hat by Herve Pierre.were greeted by Prince Charles and his wife before being received by the queen. The first couple then participated in a welcome ceremony with Queen Elizabeth II on the Buckingham Palace lawn. The president then joined Prince Charles, the heir to the throne in inspecting the Grenadier Guards, who wore their traditional bearskin hats. Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and a senior adviser as well as her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, watched from a palace balcony. Pageantry, pomp and circumstance were on full display throughout the ceremony which was held in a garden outside the 775-room palace.

After hosting the president inside the palace for lunch, the queen showed the first couple an exhibition of items in the Royal collection that are of historical significance to the United States. Among the gifts and artifacts on display at the palace: an 18-century map of New York, old time photos of a golfer at St. Andrews and pewter horse statuette the president gave the queen last year. Following behind the president were Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Prince Harry, Ambassador Bolton, Secretary Mnuchin, and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

The president and first lady continued their visit with a tour at Westminster Abbey, a historic church which doubles as a place of worship and the home of treasure of art, textiles and other artifacts. Before entering, the president greeted a line of robed clerics and officials, placing a memorial wreath at the grave of the unknown warrior from World War I. A group of children from the Westminster choir sang behind the first couple, who stood with their heads slightly bowed throughout the ceremony.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner look on as President Donald Trump, places a wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior during a visit to Westminster Abbey, June 3, 2019, in London. –Stefan Rousseau/Getty Images

President Trump has marveled at some of the previous elaborate welcomes he’s received during his travels abroad during his tenure in office, but his three-day state visit to the United Kingdom has been designed with the explicit intent of dazzling the visiting U.S president.

The state visit invitation was first extended to the 45th president just after he assumed the presidency in 2017 but is only now coming to fruition more than two years later. He previously visited the U.K. last year, taking tea with the queen at Windsor Castle at the time, but that was during a less ceremonial working visit.

President Trump is only the third U.S. president to be honored with a state visit hosted by the queen. President George W. Bush had such a visit in 2003, as was President Obama in 2011.

President Donald Trump is shown around Westminster Abbey by Dean of Westminster John Hall (r), June 3, 2019, in London. –Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Day 1

After participating in a welcoming ceremony and a formal inspection of the Guard of Honor in the palace garden, President Trump went inside the palace for a private lunch hosted by the queen in the president’s honor. Prince Harry will also attend the lunch, according to Buckingham Palace.

President Trump joined Prince Charles for a formal inspection of the Guard of Honor in the palace garden before heading inside for a private lunch hosted by the queen in the president’s honor. Prince Harry will also attend the lunch, according to Buckingham Palace.

But while the president is expected to meet Prince Harry, he is not expected to meet his wife, Meghan. The Duchess of Sussex is not expected to attend at any of the state visit events, according to the palace, because she remains on maternity leave from her official duties as a member of the royal family following the recent birth of her son Archie.

Meghan’s excusable absence from the state visit ceremonies avoids the potential for an awkward encounter, given that both Trump and Meghan have been publicly critical of one another.

Prior to marrying into the royal family, Markle called Trump a “misogynist” during the 2016 campaign and suggested she’d be inclined to live in Canada if he were elected president. Trump recently responded to her past criticism, saying “I didn’t know that she was nasty” in an interview with the British outlet The Sun.

In addition to lunch at the palace, the queen is expected to show the first couple an exhibition of items in the Royal collection that are of historical significance to the United States. Prince Andrew will then act as tour guide for the president and first lady for a visit to Westminster Abbey. There, the president will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

Later that afternoon, the president and first lady will be received for tea by Prince Charles and Camilla at their official residence at Clarence House. The private welcome at the prince’s home is seen as a particularly significant moment in the trip, given that the prince is next in line to the thrown behind his 93-year old mother.

To cap off the majestic day, the palace will pull out its finest china for a lavish state banquet at Buckingham palace in the president and first lady’s honor.

“It’s huge preparations,” says Royal commentator Robert Jobson, “making sure that absolutely everything is tip-top, from the champagne that is used to even little details, what exactly each guest requires … to make sure it’s the perfect evening.”

The queen herself will play a directing role in making sure the night is executed to the highest possible standards.

“The Queen, before the day of the banquet, will be going around and making sure that everything is the way she wants it, that’s the way they’ll be operation, and it will be a perfect example of British hospitality,” Jobson said.

Queen Elizabeth views a display of US items of the Royal collection with President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump at Buckingham palace in London, June 3, 2019.Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will attend the dinner, according to the Palace, and will meet the president at that time.

The president’s children and their spouses, who are joining the president on the state visit, are also expected to attend the formal dinner, according to a White House official.

Both the president and the queen are expected to make remarks over the course of the evening.

The president and first lady will then return to Winfield House, the official U.S. ambassador’s residence, where they will be staying during their two-night stay in London. While the president and first lady might otherwise be expected to stay at Buckingham Palace, the official chief residence of the Royal Family is currently undergoing extensive renovations.

Day 2

The second day of the state visit will be filled with more official business than ceremony, as the president heads to 10 Downing Street to be received by outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

The president’s visit comes at a particularly awkward moment for May, who announced her resignation last Friday and is set to officially step down as the Conservative Party leader on June 7, just a few days after the president’s visit.

First lady Melania Trump, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, President Donald Trump, Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Britain’s Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall stand on the steps during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, June 3, 2019. – Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Image

The day will begin with business. President Trump attending a business breakfast meeting at St. James’s Palace co-hosted by May that will bring together major U.S. and UK business leaders.

The persistent uncertainty around Brexit will no doubt be a topic of discussion at the breakfast. While the president has expressed his hopes for negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with the UK, the president’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said the U.S. is waiting for the UK’s planned exit from the EU to occur first.

“President Trump remains very eager to cut a bilateral trade deal with an independent Britain. It’s what the people voted for in 2016, and when they get out, whether it’s now, April 12 or later, we’ll be standing right there waiting for them,” Bolton said in a recent interview with Reuters.

After breakfast, the president heads to the prime minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street for meetings and could potentially hold a joint news conference.

In the evening, the president and first lady will reciprocate the hospitality of their British hosts with a dinner hosted at Winfield House. Prince Charles and Camilla will attend the dinner in the Queen’s place, according to the Palace.

Day 3

On his third and final day in the UK, the president will join the queen and over 300 D-Day veterans in Portsmouth for a national ceremony of remembrance on the 75th anniversary of the allied military invasion that is remembered as a turning point of World War II.

The queen will then formally bid the president farewell from Portsmouth as he continues on in itinerary, which will take him to Ireland and France.

n France, the president will attend the ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the shores of Normandy. And in Ireland, the president will have an official meeting with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and pay a visit to one of his eponymous properties.


Courtesy/Source: ABC News

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