Here's What to Expect from Melania and Donald Trump's Visit to the U.K.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are set to visit the U.K. again, from June 3-5. The Trumps have already made a trip to the U.K. and met Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle in 2018, but this time, it's a state visit, which makes for a whole other kind of ball game.
Let's take a look at what we know about their upcoming visit so far.
It'll Be Much More Formal Than the Last
A state visit is an honor that has only been bestowed on two other presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. According to the BBC, they're formal visits by a head of state and are normally done at the invitation of the Queen, who acts on advice from the government. Prime Minister Theresa May had promised Trump a state visit after he was elected in 2016, but no formal date was set until now. Trump is scheduled to meet with May, just days before she's set to step down from her role as Prime Minister.
They're mainly used by the government of the day to further Britain's national interests, but also involve a lot of pomp and circumstance. For example, they involve ceremonial greetings, a horse-drawn carriage ride, and a banquet with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. However, CNN has reported that there will be no carriage procession for Trump's visit, and the Queen is unable to host the Trumps overnight at the palace, due to long-term refurbishment work.
At least they still get a lunch at Buckingham Palace.
Trump's Administration Has Already Made a Gaffe
Ahead of the visit, the White House made a bit of a royal gaffe when they made an announcement and referred to Queen Elizabeth as "Her Royal Majesty" instead of the preferred “Her Majesty” or “Your Majesty."
Expect a Family Affair
Donald and Melania aren't the only ones going. Trump is reportedly bringing his adult children and their spouses — Ivanka and Jared Kushner, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump and his wife Lara — according to ABC News. ABC's report doesn't name Barron, so it sounds like he might be sitting this particular trip out.
Prince Charles and Prince Harry Will Be Involved
It'll be a family affair on the Queen's side, too. According to CNN, Prince Charles and Camilla will be having tea with Trump at Clarence House, after joining Queen Elizabeth to welcome the Trumps to Buckingham Palace.
CNN also reports that Prince Harry will be joining the Queen and the president for a private lunch, but Meghan Markle, who hasn't made public appearances since debuting baby Archie, won't be in attendance.
There Have Already Been Boycotts
Not everyone in U.K. government, however, is keen on Trump's arrival.
According to BBC, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Commons Speaker John Bercow, and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, have all declined to join the state banquet at Buckingham Palace in Trump's honor.
"Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honour a president who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric," Corbyn said in a statement. "Maintaining an important relationship with the United States does not require the pomp and ceremony of a state visit. It is disappointing that the prime minister has again opted to kowtow to this U.S. administration.
More Protests Are Expected
Government leaders aren't the only ones protesting. Last year, the Trumps' visit inspired mass protests across London, and the Associated Press noted at the time of the state visit announcement that "more protests are all but certain this time around."
Reuters reported that British protestors have blown up a blimp depicting Trump as "a snarling, nappy-wearing orange baby" ahead of his arrival, so that sounds about right.