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The First Lady, Trump (centre) and a stray rabbit mark Easter at the White House.

Trump to get his state visit to UK

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will make his long-awaited state visit to the UK at the start of June. It will be a three day visit, starting on 3rd June, and President Trump is expected to be joined by his third wife, First Lady Melania Trump, whom he married in 2005.

The visit has been timed so that the pair can attend a ceremony in Portsmouth which is being held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day (the Allied invasion of France which began to turn the tide of World War II). Representatives from a large number of other countries will also attend the ceremony, including Commonwealth members Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as well as Germany, France and other European states.

Trump is expected to fit in a formal meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street during his time in the UK and a state banquet hosted by the Queen in Buckingham Palace. His visit will end in time for him and his wife to travel to France, where they will take part in companion D-Day commemorative events on 6th June.

Trump was invited to make a state visit by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, just after he was elected president. However, it quickly became clear how unpopular the US President was in Europe – and that he would face mass protests if he were to come to the UK.

Trump seemed reluctant to make a formal visit to the UK on that basis. He did come to the UK in July last year – but on a working visit, not a state one. This year Trump will finally make the state visit, which means that he is a guest of the Queen.

Welcoming the news, Prime Minister Theresa May said that the state visit was 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 year ahead.”

The White House also welcomed the visit, issuing a statement indicating that it is expected to reaffirm the “steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

The costs of policing Trump’s 2018 working visit were estimated at around £18 million. It is thought that the state visit will draw more protestors out onto the streets, further increasing policing costs.

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