President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in the UK Monday morning, June 3, for an official state visit at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, after leaving Washington Sunday night aboard Air Force One.
The president and the first lady began their two-day state visit with a grand ceremonial welcome attended by the queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in the Buckingham Palace garden.
The president received a 21-gun salute as well as multiple bursts from royal canon fired from nearby Green Park and from the Tower of London during the extraordinary welcome ceremony, which is the highest honor Britain can bestow on foreign leaders.
The Trumps then enjoyed a private lunch with the queen at Buckingham palace after which the queen gave them a personal tour of the Buckingham Palace Picture Gallery, showing them artifacts having links to America including an early copy of the Declaration of Independence and a portrait of George Washington.
The president and first lady then went to Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, belonging to an unidentified British soldier who was killed on a European battlefield in the First World War. The grave is a monument that represents all who have died in battle.
Following the laying of the wreath, they attended a formal tea as the guests of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House.
Monday evening the queen and members of the royal family will host the president and his wife at a lavish royal banquet at Buckingham Palace where the queen will toast President Trump.
The visit, which will strengthen the special relationship between the United States and Britain, includes commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day on Wednesday in both the UK as well as at the Normandy American Cemetery in France.
The visit comes during a tense period in British politics after the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May, who will step down as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7 resulting from failure to conclude the Brexit deal.
Parliament has repeatedly rejected May’s attempts to finalize Brexit and have the UK regain autonomy from the European Union. The president will meet with May during his visit.
The president is pleased with the trip thus far, tweeting “London part of trip is going really well. The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic. The relationship with the United Kingdom is very strong. Tremendous crowds of well-wishers and people that love our Country…Great love all around. Also, big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles. Already starting to talk!”
The first lady and President Trump will be staying at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park for three days leading up to D-Day events.
The trip will also include President Trump’s first presidential visit to Ireland.