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On June 3rd, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made their first official state visit to the United Kingdom. Although the Trumps traveled to the U.K. in July 2018, that trip was labeled a “working visit.” For this trip, though, upon the pair’s arrival in the U.K., Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall officially welcomed the two at the Buckingham Palace royal residence and headquarters.
Even before Trump’s arrival, though, many British politicians, not to mention ordinary people, expressed their dismay at the president’s official state visit. In addition to citizen protests, London mayor Sadiq Khan, whom Trump has often berated, deemed the formal welcoming of Trump in the U.K. “un-British.” In an op-ed that circulated widely the day before Trump’s arrival, Khan described Trump as one of the world’s most dangerous leaders. Trump did not hesitate to strike back, calling Khan a “stone cold loser.” Only after making this remark did Trump arrive in the U.K. (and similarly, before his landing, he tweeted that CNN has been unfairly reporting on his U.K. visit).
Once at Buckingham Palace, though, Trump’s demeanor reportedly changed markedly. The president, who is well known to enjoy over-the-top government ceremony, received exactly that from the British, who are well known to stage such occasions. Many reports state that Trump appeared enthusiastic during this ceremony, and Queen Elizabeth II similarly greeted the Trumps with a huge smile and warm manners.
After the three British royals brought the Trumps inside for a short period, the five returned outside to watch a performance of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Trump then, as he did during last summer’s visit with the queen, inspected Buckingham Palace’s guard of honor, this time with Prince Charles at his side.
As the royal family treated the Trumps to a grand spectacle at Buckingham Palace, members of Britain’s opposition Labour party began criticizing the president for his pre-landing remarks regarding Sadiq Khan. Yvette Cooper, a prominent parliamentary member of the party, lambasted Theresa May, who will soon step down as the U.K.’s prime minister, for allowing someone who would insult Khan to receive a formal, resplendent welcome into the country. Other Labour party members pointed to Trump’s insults as “ridiculous” and proof that the president is “unfit for office” and a “sexist, racist liar.”
Although May greenlit Trump’s visit, her office is allegedly attempting to block Trump from other activities in which a visiting President might partake. In particular, May, who is widely associated with the Brexit party, may be working to stop Trump from meeting with Brexit leaders such as Nigel Farage, who, alongside fellow party leaders Andrew Wigmore and Arron Banks, is hoping to sit down with President Trump today. An anonymous source who works with Farage insisted that Trump will ignore these potential blockades and attend the meeting anyway.
Trump is currently only partway through his U.K. visit. As his trip progresses, it is all but certain that more and more news will break.