Reports of large-scale protests and a flying ‘Trump baby’ balloon may be dominating the headlines, but there is a lot more to President Trump’s visit than just events on the streets — and sky — of London.
1. What do we know about Trump’s visit?
President Donald Trump will arrive in London in the late afternoon of Thursday 12 July after attending the 2018 NATO summit in Brussels. He plans to go directly to Blenheim Palace — Winston Churchill’s birthplace — for a black-tie dinner with business leaders. Then on Friday, he will join Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers, her country estate, for government-to-government talks, later joining Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle for afternoon tea. President Trump is then scheduled to fly to Scotland — his mother’s ancestral home and site of two Trump golf courses.
His visit comes after a series of invitations and cancellations. Theresa May first invited the president for a state visit to the UK in February 2017, but faced substantial backlash from the UK public for doing so. Trump had planned to visit in February this year to open a new US embassy but cancelled the plan, citing his displeasure with the embassy’s cost and location. Trump’s visit has since been downgraded to a ‘working visit,’ likely to avoid too much time in London, where large protests are expected. Some have described the change as a snub to the president, but, contrary to popular belief, Barack Obama and George W. Bush are the only two US presidents to have had formal state visits to the UK.