State banquet and tea with Prince Charles for Trump’s UK visit
By Agence France-Presse
Prince Charles will host Donald Trump for afternoon tea during the US president’s state visit to Britain next month, despite their ideological differences over climate change, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.
Queen Elizabeth II will welcome Trump and First Lady Melania, as she did for their 2018 visit, but the couple will also meet her son Charles for the first time, following reports the prince previously snubbed the US leader.
Trump will arrive in London on June 3 where he will be greeted by the Queen, heir to the throne Charles and his wife Camilla, before receiving a ceremonial welcome in the Buckingham Palace gardens.
Thousands are expected to take to the streets to protest Trump’s visit, timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, following similar demonstrations during last year’s more informal trip.
Campaigners are again hoping to fly an unflattering blimp of the US president wearing a nappy.
Trump, a strong supporter of Brexit, will also meet for talks with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and visit Westminster Abbey, where he will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
Charles will then host the Trumps for tea at his central London Clarence House residence before a grand state banquet, at which both the US leader and the Queen are expected to make speeches.
Charles and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry reportedly refused to meet Trump last year due to the president’s views, particularly on climate change.
Trump will then head to the naval city of Portsmouth, on England’s south coast, to commemorate D-Day alongside veterans.
“The event will tell the story of D-Day through musical performance, testimonial readings and military displays, including a fly-past of 25 modern and historical aircraft,” said Buckingham Palace.
Trump and the Queen will then part ways, with the president heading to Ireland to meet Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and then Normandy for more D-Day commemorations in France.
The visit has already stirred up political opposition, with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn declining an invitation to the banquet, accusing Trump of using “racist and misogynist rhetoric”.
House of Commons speaker John Bercow, who has ruled out allowing Trump to address parliament, and Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, have already declined the invitation to the dinner.
May had invited Trump for a state visit when she visited him in January 2017 — just days after he took office.
The invitation proved controversial and an online petition to cancel it reached 1.9 million signatures.