This Is What You Can Expect When Donald Trump Meets Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II has made a policy of meeting with almost every American president elected since her ascension to the throne in 1952. She never met with Lyndon B. Johnson, and she hasn’t had a visit with Donald Trump. But that may change this summer.
The U.S. ambassador to London said that Donald Trump will meet with Queen Elizabeth II on his visit to the U.K. in July. The president is due to visit Britain mid-July, according to Reuters. The details of his trip haven’t yet been finalized, but we know a few things already about how the visit will likely play out. Want to know what to expect when Donald Trump finally meets the queen? Here are the highlights.
1. Donald Trump will make a working visit, not a state visit
The July trip isn’t going to be a formal state visit, “which would include pomp, pageantry and a banquet with the Queen,” Reuters reports. Prime Minister Theresa May invited Donald Trump for a state visit when she met him in the United States shortly after his inauguration. But as the Business Standard notes, that state visit was downgraded to a working visit after public outcry over Trump’s comments about immigration. He later canceled the trip altogether. His July visit, similarly, would take the form of a working visit, not a formal state visit.
2. But Trump would still meet the queen
Even though he’ll make a working visit and not a state visit, Donald Trump would still meet Queen Elizabeth II. Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson fielded questions about whether the president’s itinerary in the U.K. would include a visit with the queen. Johnson answered, “Yes, yes, I mean he has to see the head of state. Putting his foot on British soil, it’s job one, it’s very important, very symbolic.”
3. They may meet at Windsor Castle
The Business Standard notes that speculation over whether Donald Trump will meet Queen Elizabeth II this summer has continued to mount. It came to light that Windsor Castle could be closed to the public on the day of his visit to Britain. So the two might meet at this royal residence, in Windsor. Either way, the Trump administration and the royal household will likely have to agree on a detailed schedule for the day on which the queen hosts the president.
4. He may stay away from London altogether
The Mirror first revealed that Windsor Castle would close on the day of Trump’s visit. And the publication posited that Prime Minister Theresa May could suggest keeping the president away from London as a precaution to avoid protests. (Potential protesters would likely be much more plentiful in London than in Windsor.) The publication also points out that a meeting at Windsor Castle could appease the president, who didn’t get invited to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding at the royal residence.
5. Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II could even golf together
The Royal Borough Observer reports that if the president really wants to steer clear of potential protesters, he could plan to meet Queen Elizabeth II even farther afield from London. Some have suggested that Trump should focus his visit to the U.K. on his “ancestral home” of Scotland and meet the queen at Balmoral. As The Independent reported in early 2017, a source said that Trump wanted to play golf with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral. Alternative activities reported at the time? Dinner at Blenheim Palace or tea at Buckingham Palace.
6. Trump will also meet with Theresa May
The NY Post reports that Donald Trump will also meet with Prime Minister Theresa May. The publication notes that that meeting could prove contentious due to the president’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. This policy has seen thousands of children separated from their parents after they enter the southern border of the United States. May has characterized the policy as “deeply disturbing.”
7. Protesters will likely be there to greet him
The NY Post points out that Trump may also encounter protesters when he visits the United Kingdom. People around the world have objected to the president’s immigration policy, and his administration’s practice of separating immigrant families. As the BBC noted when Trump canceled a visit planned for February, the possibility of protests in London was said to be a factor in the administration’s decision.
8. He may complain about the American embassy in London
When Donald Trump goes to London, he may complain about a topic that he has criticized in the past: the new American embassy, which moved from Mayfair to south London. George W. Bush’s administration agreed to the move. But that hasn’t stopped Trump from blaming Barack Obama for the “bad deal.” The space requirements for modern security necessitated the move. But Trump criticized the new building as being in an “off location.” He tweeted that diplomats “Wanted me to cut ribbon — NO!”
9. He’ll also have other events on his itinerary
Johnson went on to explain that a meeting with the queen won’t be the only event on Donald Trump’s itinerary when he travels to the United Kingdom. “Meeting Her Majesty is the most important thing, because she’s the head of state, and from then on, it’ll be what the President wants to do.” The BBC reports that some speculated that Trump canceled his February trip because it didn’t include enough “pomp and bling.” But it remains to be seen how that might affect his plans for a July visit.
10. Trump is likely to offend many Brits
Whether you love him or hate him, you have to concede that Donald Trump is controversial. And he seems very likely to offend many Brits, regardless of the specifics of what he says or does on his U.K. visit. The BBC reported that many have a “nagging fear” that Trump “just does not see the U.K. as a priority.” During his first year in office, he visited most other G7 countries and several European nations. That just makes the absence of Britain from his itinerary stand out more. And Queen Elizabeth II may offend a few Brits by hosting Trump, too: Many petitioned her to withdraw her earlier invitation to the president.
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