After years of controversy and months of planning, the State Visit of US President Donald Trump is about to get under way. And the flags are flying on the Mall to prove it.
Union flags are fluttering in the warm summer evening air alongside the Stars and Stripes as the Royal Family prepares to welcome Mr Trump and his wife, Melania, for a State Visit that has proved contentious from the word go. The images were shared on the Royal Family’s official social media with a retweet from the First Lady for good measure.
Donald and Melania Trump will begin their visit on Monday with an official welcome at Buckingham Palace. The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be there to greet the President and Firrst Lady. There will be no carriage ride on the Mall and the inspection of the guard will also take place within Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles accompanying President Trump as he reviews the Guard of Honour, formed of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards.
The first day will also include a private lunch at the palace for Mr and Mrs Trump, hosted by the Queen and with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of Sussex in attendance. After their meal, they will all tour a special private exhibition of items from the Royal Collection with a particular link to the United States. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will later welcome the President and First Lady to Clarence House for tea.
The afternoon will also see the Trumps visit Westminster Abbey with the Duke of York accompanying them. In the evening, the President and First Lady will be guests of honour at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace which is expected to see many members of the Royal Family in attendance, among them the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Just before arriving in the UK, Donald Trump attracted controversy over comments made in relation to the Duchess of Sussex. During an interview with The Sun newspaper earlier this week, he was asked about negative remarks Meghan had made about him prior to her engagement to Prince Harry. He replied ”I didn’t know that. What can I say? I didn’t know she was nasty”. He then went on to praise the duchess in her new royal role, saying ”it’s nice and I am sure she will do excellently. She will be very good”. He has since denied calling the duchess ”nasty”.
This is the first State Visit President Trump has made to the United Kingdom although he met the Queen at Windsor in July 2018. This will be the third incoming State Visit by a US President to be hosted by Elizabeth II in the course of her 66 year reign.
The trip will last three days, coming to an end on Wednesday June 5th 2019.