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President Trump To Pay A State Visit To U.K. In June, At Queen's Invitation

President Trump has accepted an invitation for a state visit from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, setting up a trip in early June. The two are seen here during Trump's visit to the U.K. last June.
Brendan Smialowski
AFP/Getty Images
President Trump has accepted an invitation for a state visit from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, setting up a trip in early June. The two are seen here during Trump's visit to the U.K. last June.

President Trump will pay a state visit to the U.K. in early June, according to Buckingham Palace, which says Trump has accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to visit America's closest ally.

The visit will take place "from Monday 3rd June to Wednesday 5th June," the palace announced Tuesday.

The White House says the state visit "will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom."

In addition to visiting the queen, Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May. And the president and first lady are also scheduled to attend a ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, making a stop in Portsmouth — a main launch site for the World War II offensive that led to the liberation of Europe.

After Trump leaves the U.K., he will visit France, where he will observe the D-Day anniversary on June 6 in Normandy, alongside President Emmanuel Macron.

News of the looming visit has been circulating for days. Even before Buckingham Palace and the White House issued confirmation of the trip, protest groups in the U.K. announced their plans to demonstrate against the American president and his policies.

"We have to march in huge numbers against his racism, misogyny, transphobia, and the threat he poses to the planet," activist and writer Owen Jones wrote, in a tweet that was shared by the U.K.'s Stop Trump Coalition.

The state visit will come nearly a year after Trump'sfirst trip to the U.K. as president, when he and the first lady met the queen for tea at Windsor Castle and visited May at Chequers — the prime minister's country house.

In contrast to that working trip, the state visit will be much more formal. It follows state visits by President George W. Bush in November of 2003 and President Barack Obama in May of 2011.

It's not clear whether Trump will address Parliament, as Obama did during his state visit in 2011.

Weeks after Trump was inaugurated in 2017, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said he would be "strongly opposed" to Trump delivering a speech to both houses of Parliament during a state visit to the U.K. British lawmakers have reportedly been attempting to persuade Bercow to ease that position.

Citing Bercow's spokeswoman, the BBC reports that "a request for Mr. Trump to address Parliament would be 'considered in the usual way.' "

In addition to Obama's 2011 speech, Bush was slated to speak to the legislature during his 2003 visit, but that address was canceled amid intense disagreements and protests over the Iraq War.

During Trump's visit last July, protesters turned out by the thousands to voice their displeasure with Trump, citing his policies on immigration, his statements about the EU and U.K. and his criticisms of several British politicians, including the prime minister and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Despite plans to meet with May during that earlier trip, Trump gave a scathing critique of the prime minister in an interview with The Sun tabloid, blaming May for confusion and lingering doubts about Brexit and saying she "wrecked" the exit deal by ignoring his advice.

Protesters against Trump's previous visit used a variety of means to communicate their disapproval, from flying a "Trump Baby" blimp to holding protest signs along streets in Scotland — where Trump paid a two-day visit to his Turnberry golf resort.

The royal family's tweet announcing the pending state visit was met with a range of responses, many of them negative. Some replies expressed disappointment and/or sympathy for the queen. One reply states, "Get the baby blimp back out guys."

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.