The United Kingdom has been stingy with its state visits since Donald Trump became president, but it seems Queen Elizabeth II is willing to make an exception, even amid the Brexit crisis, to welcome Trump for the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6th.
People Magazine reports that "after much back and forth," the Queen has settled on welcoming the president, now more than two years into his term, to mark the success of Operation Overlord and the massive joint invasion that started the Allies down the path to victory in World War II.
Donald Trump may even get to ride in a carriage down London's mall to Buckingham Palace accompanied by members of the Queen's Household Cavalry to mark the occasion. He may also get a gun salute and an invitation to an official State dinner at the palace, held in the ballroom, per Metro.
The White House and Buckingham Palace are still ironing out the details, but a formal announcement is expected later this week. Trump is expected to follow up that visit with a jaunt to the northern coast of France, where he will take part in the official D-Day 75 festivities.
This will be the first official state visit to the UK for President Trump, but not his first visit. That came in 2018, when Trump traveled to London on a series of official engagements with UK lawmakers and trade representatives. On that visit, Trump and his wife, Melania, were welcomed to Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen but did not take part in any banquets.
His visit was mostly marked by protests, including the underwhelming debut of a "Baby Trump" air balloon.
This time, Trump will visit again with the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May, but will also spend a few days meeting with other members of the British government, including controversial Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is not a fan of the Trump administration.
If the visit with one of the United States' most treasured allies seems late in coming, that's because it is. Trump has been scheduled to make an official state visit to the United Kingdom since he was elected in 2016, but plans for the meetup were repeatedly shelved, and not just by U.K. leaders.
When he first took office, Theresa May offered Trump a state visit immediately and Trump accepted, but the Trump White House later pulled out of the meeting over "safety concerns," the Metro reports. It's not clear what prompted the "concerns" but at least two million U.K. residents signed a petition begging May to call off the engagement out of fear that Trump could cause embarrassment to the Queen.
"Trump had also been expected to open the new US Embassy in London last February, but the plan was also abandoned because he was so unimpressed with the building’s ‘off location’ and the ‘bad deal’ behind it," Metro continues.
Neither the White House nor Whitehall, the house in charge of solidifying the plans, would comment on the upcoming state visit, but Trump has spoken highly of Queen Elizabeth in previous interviews. Town & Country reports that Trump holds the monarch in high esteem.
"I think she represents her country so well," Trump told media last year. "If you think of it, for so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake. You don’t see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman."