President Trump will be hosted by Queen Elizabeth on a state visit to the UK this summer, during which he will also attend major D-Day commemoration events in Britain and France.
Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday that the president and first lady will be guests of the queen during the visit between June 3 and 5, and he will also hold talks with prime minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street.
Within minutes of the announcement, activists were promising protests even bigger than the one in July 2018 during his last visit to the UK when more than 100,000 people demonstrated in Central London. That protest saw the launch of a giant orange Trump baby balloon.
On June 5, Trump will attend an international event in Portsmouth billed as “one of the greatest British military spectacles in recent history” to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The president will appear alongside representatives from other countries who fought alongside the UK and US during World War II, and Germany, in keeping with previous commemorative events.
Downing Street said the event will include a flypast of 26 iconic RAF aircraft and 11 Royal Navy vessels in the Solent.
British MPs immediately criticised the visit and called for the public to organise protests in London during the president’s stay. Labour MP Stella Creasy urged activists to “make sure those targeted by Trump's hate know whose side this country is on”.
Activist group Together Against Trump said it would organise a demonstration during the visit. “We will take to the streets in even bigger numbers — to fight for migrant and refugee rights, for women’s rights, against the corporate elites, and for the future of our planet,” the group said.
The protest is being organised with other campaign groups including the Stop Trump Coalition and Stand Up to Trump. Extinction Rebellion, the climate change activists who have protested across London in recent days, said they could target Pall Mall during the trip.
The House of Commons speaker, John Bercow, is under pressure from government ministers to allow Trump to address Parliament.
Bercow has previously indicated he could block Trump from speaking in Parliament — a traditional courtesy afforded to heads of state visiting the UK — saying being able to address MPs is "not an automatic right, it is an earned honour".
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is expected to be on maternity leave when the president arrives in the UK.
Responding to the announcement from Buckingham Palace, May said: “The UK and United States have a deep and enduring partnership that is rooted in our common history and shared interests.
“We do more together than any two nations in the world and we are both safer and more prosperous because of our cooperation.
“The State Visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead.”
After the UK visit, the Trumps will then travel to France to attend commemorations for the D-Day anniversary on June 6, and the president will also have a bilateral with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.
Alex Wickham is a senior reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Alex Wickham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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