Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Britain trip will see him meeting the queen – and avoiding protests

US president will dine at Blenheim Palace and meet Queen Elizabeth, but is unlikely to see the ‘Trump Baby’ blimp

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 12:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 6:28am

US President Donald Trump’s coming visit to Britain will take him to a palace, a country mansion and a castle – and will mostly avoid London, where noisy protests are planned.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said on Friday that Trump was expected to arrive on Thursday after attending a Nato summit in Brussels, Belgium. That evening he is to attend a black-tie dinner with business leaders at Blenheim Palace, a grand country house near Oxford that was the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

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He will be greeted with military pomp, including a welcome by bands of the Irish, Scots and Welsh Guards. The Royal Regiment of Scotland – homeland of Trump’s mother – will pipe him out at the end of the dinner.

The next day, Trump and May will visit an unspecified defence site before holding talks at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat 40 miles (65 kms) from the capital. Later on Friday, Trump will travel to Windsor Castle, west of London, for an audience with Queen Elizabeth.

The itinerary will keep the president away from London on Friday, where protesters plan to march and to fly a “Trump Baby” blimp – depicting Trump as a screaming orange infant in diapers – over Parliament.

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The president is to spend Thursday night at the London residence of US Ambassador Robert “Woody” Johnson but will otherwise steer clear of the city.

In a telephone briefing, Johnson said that Trump would be discussing a trade deal with a post-Brexit Britain.

“The president has been very clear,” Johnson said, “He’d love to do a bilateral deal. He’ll get it done fast because I know it’s a major priority for him.”

Johnson said officials were already working on a deal, adding, “The president is ready and able to do that as soon as possible.”

Trump and his wife, Melania, plan to spend the weekend privately in Scotland, where the president owns two golf courses, before travelling to Helsinki, Finland, for a July 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The president's trip is classed as an official visit, rather than the full-scale state visit, hosted by the queen, for which May invited Trump soon after his January 2017 inauguration.

London and Washington say the state visit is still expected to happen at some point.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse