Melania Trump will finally meet the Queen, but Trump won’t get his carriage procession
The Sun, citing information from the British Foreign Office, reports the first lady will accompany President Donald Trump when he finally visits the U.K. in July after previous trips were canceled out of concern over massive protests.
The “working visit” to London is expected to take place July 13, the Guardian reported. The first couple are expected to stay at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence of Winfield House at Regent’s Park, then meet the queen at Windsor Castle, the Sun added.
There’s no word, though, on whether other members of the royal family will be present, including the queen’s heirs Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry or her popular granddaughters-in-law Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.
Actually, it’s hard to think that the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be keen on meeting Trump, given Harry’s friendship with Barack and Michelle Obama, or Meghan’s criticism of Trump during the 2016 election. During an interview on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” the then-TV actress blasted Trump as a “misogynist” and said she wasn’t sure she wanted to live in the United States if he became president.
At least it sounds like Trump and his wife will get their photo opportunity with the queen. But they won’t be honored with a banquet at Buckingham Palace, and Trump won’t get his carriage procession, the Guardian said.
Last year, a report circulated that Trump had insisted on riding in Queen Elizabeth II’s gold-plated state carriage during a visit that was originally scheduled for October 2017. The Times of London said the White House had “made it clear it” that a carriage procession down the Mall was an essential element of an itinerary for a state visit. The White House denied making such a demand.
Former President Obama didn’t ride in a carriage during a visit to London in 2011 because of the massive security needed to protect him if he rode in a slow-moving, glass-windowed vehicle. Instead, Obama traveled in a bullet- and bomb-proof car.
But the U.K. government has some military pageantry planned for Trump. He’ll be invited to inspect a 100-strong Guard of Honour in the courtyard of Windsor Castle, the Sun said. Formed in 1650, the Coldstream Guards are Britain’s oldest regiment and have served in almost every major conflict since that country’s Civil War in the 1600s.
Meanwhile, Melania Trump’s presence on this trip will likely be welcome. She didn’t accompany Trump to the G7 summit in Canada or to his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. The president said his wife was barred from flying anywhere for a month after her “big operation” in May for an unspecified kidney condition.
Melania Trump currently is more popular than her husband, with a recent CNN poll showing that 57 percent of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of her, compared with her husband’s 42-percent approval rating, the Washington Post reported.
Melania Trump also won positive reviews for her comportment on state trips to the Middle East, France and to last year’s G7 summit, and for her hosting of the state dinner in April for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte.