Trump enjoys pomp and pageantry on state visit to UK

Donald Trump and First Lady Melania have shared afternoon tea with Prince Charles and Camilla – after a day in which the US leader has enjoyed the full pomp and pageantry of a UK state visit.

It is not clear if the president and the prince discussed climate change in their meeting at Clarence House, with the two men sharing polar opposite views on the issue.

While Charles has championed environmental causes and sustainability for decades, Mr Trump has branded the idea of humans causing climate change “a con job” and “a hoax”.

The US president warmly embraced in the grounds of Buckingham Palace
Image: The US president was warmly embraced in the grounds of Buckingham Palace

Sky’s royal correspondent, Rhiannon Mills, said earlier: “(Charles) is going to sit down for tea with the president at Clarence House.

“You couldn’t find two men who are more diametrically opposed when it comes to climate change.

“Prince Charles may well see that meeting as an opportunity, a chance to win over one of the most powerful men in the world when it comes to the prince’s agenda on the environment.”

The US president met with Prince Charles after a day which included a private lunch with the Queen and royal gun salutes from the Tower of London.

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The president’s visit has not been without controversy as he took aim at familiar targets Sadiq Khan, China and CNN on Twitter.

Mr Trump and the first lady arrived at London’s Stansted Airport shortly after 9am, with the president branding the mayor of London a “stone cold loser” before Air Force One had even touched the runway.

The US leader also suggested Mr Khan was “very dumb” in his latest attack in a long-running feud between the pair.

Mr Khan described the president as “just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat” on Sunday, and compared the language he has used to that of the “fascists of the 20th century”.

Mr Trump and Melania were welcomed by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson, and other dignitaries, just minutes after his Twitter outburst this morning.

Mr Trump and the Royal Family stood for a rendition of the US national anthem
Image: Mr Trump and the Royal Family stood for a rendition of the US national anthem
The US president warmly embraced in the grounds of Buckingham Palace
Donald Trump meets the Queen

The president was then escorted to the US helicopter Marine One, which flew him to Mr Johnson’s official residence Winfield House.

Mr Trump used his downtime there to criticise China and CNN on Twitter.

He wrote: “Just arrived in the United Kingdom. The only problem is that @CNN is the primary source of news available from the US.”

The president and his wife boarded Marine One shortly afterwards before being whisked to Buckingham Palace, where they were greeted on the grand lawn by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Royal gun salutes were fired from nearby Green Park and from the Tower of London as part of the pageantry accompanying an official state visit, one of the highest honours Britain can bestow on a foreign leader.

US President Donald Trump inspects an honour guard at Buckingham Palace
Image: US President Donald Trump inspects an honour guard at Buckingham Palace

After speaking with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Mr Trump and the first lady were led up the steps of the palace itself where they were greeted by the Queen.

Wearing a muted jade A-line coat and pleated dress in shades of grey, jade and dusky pink with a matching hat, Her Majesty shook hands warmly with Mr Trump and smiled broadly before turning to greet the first lady.

Mr and Mrs Trump then stood with members of the Royal Family as they enjoyed a rendition of the US national anthem, before the president inspected a Guard of Honour formed by the Grenadier Guards.

Prince Charles accompanied the US leader as he was chatting at length with some of the guardsmen, who were wearing traditional bearskin hats.

Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, the president’s adviser Jared Kushner, were seen watching from a palace balcony overlooking the garden.

The president and the first lady then joined the Queen for a private lunch, where they were shown a collection of historical American artefacts.

It is thought Mr Trump was shown items not normally on display, or possibly particular favourites of the Queen.

The US leader is in the UK for three days and will enjoy a full state banquet
Image: The US leader is in the UK for three days and will enjoy a full state banquet
Mr Trump spoke with members of the Grenadier Guards
Image: Mr Trump spoke with members of the Grenadier Guards

Although curators were with the group, Her Majesty personally guided the president through the artefacts.

The US president’s armoured car, nicknamed “The Beast”, was seen escorting him from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey at around 3pm.

Mr Trump was welcomed by Prince Andrew before laying a commemorative wreath, with his state visit coming ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day landings on 6 June.

The wreath was laid in honour of the two world wars, as well as more recent conflicts.

Mr Trump and the first lady then spent time reflecting by the tomb of The Unknown Warrior as a choir performed behind them.

The president's daughter and adviser Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, right, watched the proceedings from a balcony
Image: The president’s daughter and adviser Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, right, watched the proceedings from a balcony

The US president will enjoy a full state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening – something often seen as a highlight of such trips.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable and Commons Speaker John Bercow will not attend the dinner, having earlier said they will boycott the event.

A Labour spokesman has said Mr Corbyn will attend and speak at a demonstration on Tuesday against Mr Trump’s state visit.

Mr Trump will be meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday in one of her final days in office.

The president created a considerable degree of political turbulence before arriving in the UK, with comments in recent days on the Tory leadership race, Brexit and the Duchess of Sussex.

Mr Trump was shown American artefacts at Buckingham Palace
Image: Mr Trump was shown American artefacts at Buckingham Palace
The US leader laid a wreath at Westminster Abbey
Image: The US leader laid a wreath at Westminster Abbey

Speaking to reporters just before he left the US, he praised Conservative leadership hopeful Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

He has also denied reports he called the Duchess of Sussex “nasty”, despite the remarks being made in a recorded interview.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt appeared to back Mr Trump in his row with Mr Khan on Monday.

He accused the mayor of showing “great discourtesy” to the president and of levelling “choice insults” at Mr Trump in the past.

Snipers were seen on the roof of Winfield House
Image: Snipers were seen on the roof of Winfield House

A large crowd gathered outside Buckingham Palace in the sunshine as they awaited the arrival of the Trumps, with many holding their camera phones aloft as the pair were helicoptered in.

A huge security operation is in place for the visit, and police officers could be seen standing at three different points on the roof at the front of the palace.

Mr Trump’s three-day visit is expected to be met with the protests throughout.

The creators of the “Trump baby”, a six-metre balloon depicting the president as a nappy-wearing orange baby, have said the blimp will fly outside parliament this week.

The Museum of London has said it wants to acquire the balloon, which was first raised near parliament when Mr Trump flew over for a working visit in 2018.

Source: SKY NEWS

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