Trump's Europe Visit Includes Britain, Ireland, France
WHITE HOUSE —
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will be on a state visit to the Britain June 3 to June 5.
What to know for the visit?
It’s not Trump's first visit to Britain.
What’s so special this time?
Trump was in Britain in July 2018 on a working visit, which involved much less pomp and pageantry than a state visit. On a working visit, the visiting country and not the host country covers the bill.
A state visit is a formal visit by a head of state and is normally done at the invitation of the queen on the advice of her government. Queen Elizabeth II, as the current head of state, will act as Trump’s official host for the duration of the visit.
An invitation for a state visit was extended soon after Trump took office in 2017, but a number of concerns, including security have been hampering plans.
The White House said the upcoming trip would reaffirm the "steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom."
Twelve U.S. presidents have visited Britain, though only two were there on state visits: George W. Bush in 2003 and Barack Obama in 2011.
What’s on the agenda?
In addition to a private lunch and a state banquet hosted by the queen, the president and the first lady also will attend cultural engagements with other members of the royal family.
They will participate in events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II, including a visit to Portsmouth, a launch site for the offensive that led to the liberation of Europe. Other countries' representatives are expected to attend.
Trump will hold a business round table at St. James's Palace, and he'll attend a bilateral meeting at 10 Downing Street, the residence and home of British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is resigning after failing to achieve an agreement on Britain's departure from the European Union. May has said she will resign on June 7, two days after Trump is scheduled to leave.
Trump, who has supported Brexit since his 2016 presidential campaign, has criticized May’s handling of the issue. Responding to a reporter’s question on Thursday, Trump said he might meet with Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage — pro-Brexit politicians who are seeking to replace May. Trump said they both were his friends, “very good guys, very interesting people.”
In an interview Friday with British tabloid The Sun, Trump said Boris Johnson would be an "excellent" choice for the Conservative Party leadership. "I think Boris would do a very good job," he said, adding that his endorsement “could help anybody."
After his three-day visit to Britain, Trump will fly to Shannon, Ireland, for a bilateral with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Trump said he will stay overnight in Doonbeg, the luxury golf resort in County Clare that he bought in 2014.
On June 6, Trump will head to France where he will observe the D-Day anniversary in Normandy, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.
Who else is coming and who are they meeting?
Other than the president and the first lady, the White House has confirmed the president’s adult children also will be on the trip.
They will meet members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles; Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton; and Prince Harry. The Trumps will not be meeting Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, nor their new baby, Archie. Markle, who is American, is still on maternity leave.
Additionally, Trump will attend a reception at the U.S. Embassy to meet staff and their families.
Where are they staying?
State visitors usually stay with Queen Elizabeth at either Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. President George W. Bush and President Obama both stayed at Buckingham Palace. A spokesperson for the royal household said the Trumps will not be staying with the queen, however, due to renovation work that is being carried out at the royal residence.
Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing a 10-year, $477 million renovation, including major electrical and plumbing work.
Will there be protests?
During Trump’s visit last July, more than 100,000 people protested on the streets of London, according to police. This year, protest organizers say they expect similar numbers.
The main protest, “Together Against Trump,” will take place in London on Tuesday, June 4. Smaller protests are planned elsewhere in Britain.
The protests are organized in general opposition to Trump’s views and policies on issues such as immigration and climate change. The campaign group Stop Trump said, “We will make it clear to the British government that it’s not OK to normalize Trump’s agenda and fear it has sparked.”
The "Trump Baby" — a 6-meter balloon by artist Matt Bonner depicting the president as an infant in a diaper holding a cellphone — is expected to appear, as it did during Trump's 2018 visit to Britain and during his visits to France and Argentina.