Trump UK visit: When is the US president coming to Britain and who will he meet?

Mass protests expected as controversial POTUS jets in next week

Joe Sommerlad
Thursday 05 July 2018 16:48 BST
Theresa May condemns Trump's family separation policy and says she will challenge him on UK visit

Donald Trump is set to visit the UK next week.

While the US president had hoped for an invitation to the royal wedding and a ride in a gilded carriage, his reception promises to be decidedly different.

The real estate mogul turned statesman has been embroiled in myriad controversies since taking office, of which the separation of migrant children from their families at border detention camps is only the latest.

His arrival is set to prompt hostile demonstrations from members of the public who have been incensed by his inflammatory rhetoric.

When is President Trump arriving?

Ominously – and rather perfectly – Mr Trump is coming to the UK on Friday 13 July, a day after attending a Nato summit in Brussels.

The first lady, Melania Trump, is expected to join him on the three-day “working visit,” despite seldom being seen in public since undergoing a kidney operation last month and missing out on his recent summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.

Who will he meet?

The commander-in-chief will meet the Queen on his arrival in London, the US ambassador to the UK, Robert Wood Johnson, has said.

“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,” Mr Wood Johnson told Sky News.

The Queen has met every single US president since 1945 (with the exception of Lyndon Johnson) and it appears likely she will entertain Mr Trump at Windsor Castle, which will be closed to the public on the date in question.

The Coldstream Guards, the oldest regiment in the British Army, are rumoured to be in place to honour the Trumps.

A meeting with the prime minister, Theresa May, is also widely expected at the prime minister’s country house, Chequers, to ensure the upkeep of the “special relationship” over a welcome breakfast.

However, their reunion could prove tense after she branded his immigration policy “inhumane.”

“When we disagree with the United States, we tell them so,” she told MPs in the Commons recently.

“But we also have key shared interests. It is right that we are able to sit down and discuss those with the president – a president of a country with which we will continue to have a long-standing special relationship.”

Will there be protests?

There will indeed. Demonstrations will commence at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on the evening of Thursday 12 July and in Regent’s Park in London and later at the US ambassador’s residence where they believe the Trumps will be staying.

Further protests will then take place at Chequers on Friday morning, before the main event outside of the BBC’s headquarters in central London at 2pm. Marchers from organisations including the TUC, Stop the War, Friends of the Earth and Momentum will then proceed down Regent’s Street to Trafalgar Square for a gathering at 5pm.

Activist Leo Murray has also raised the necessary £16,000 to pay for “Project Trump Baby”, a six metre-high inflatable version of the president with unusually small hands and feet and sporting a nappy, which he intends to fly in the capital to embarrass the president.

The Greater London Authority has now given Mr Murray permission to tether the balloon in Parliament Square after a petition to allow him to do so secured 10,000 signatures.

A spokesman for mayor Sadiq Khan said he ”supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms”.

Avoiding London to escape such indignities might well prove a priority for the president and his security detail.

No doubt he will not be too sorry: Mr Trump described the British capital as a “war zone” last year in response to a reported spike in knife crime, provoking an angry response from Mr Khan.

The president subsequently scrapped plans to attend the opening of the new US embassy in Vauxhall in February.

What else might he do?

Mr Trump comes from Scottish ancestry – his mother hailing from the Isle of Lewis – and owns golf resorts in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire.

A trip north to play 18 holes therefore seems more than likely, with US officials apparently in search of a worthy opponent to take on the president.

Protests are being held there too in anticipation – in Glasgow on Friday and Edinburgh on Saturday, where organisers are promising “a carnival of resistance”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in