Donald Trump To Visit Portsmouth
23 April 2019, 14:05 | Updated: 23 April 2019, 14:14
US President Donald Trump is to make a state visit to the UK in June, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania will be guests of the Queen during the three-day visit, which begins on June 3.
The long-awaited state visit comes more than two years after Prime Minister Theresa May offered the invitation to the US leader just days into his presidency, when they met for the first time at the White House in January 2017.
Mrs May was widely criticised for bestowing such an honour on a controversial figure and campaigners have already pledged to organise demonstrations.
Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement: "The President of the United States of America, President Donald J. Trump, accompanied by Mrs Melania Trump, has accepted an invitation from Her Majesty the Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from Monday 3rd June to Wednesday 5th June 2019."
The Prime Minister said Mr Trump's visit would be a chance for the UK and US to strengthen their "already close relationship".
Mr Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Mrs May during the trip and attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Countries which fought alongside the United Kingdom in the historic military operation, as well as Germany, have been invited to attend.
Mrs May said: "The UK and United States have a deep and enduring partnership that is rooted in our common history and shared interests.
"We do more together than any two nations in the world and we are both safer and more prosperous because of our co-operation.
"The state visit is 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 years ahead."
Details of the ceremonial elements of the visit have yet to be announced by Buckingham Palace, but the visit is likely to follow the traditional format of an official open-air welcome featuring prestigious British regiments, lunch with the Queen and a state banquet.
The organisation Stand Up To Trump said campaigners had pledged to mobilise huge numbers in response to the state visit.
Member Sabby Dhalu claimed the US leader was "the world's number one racist, warmonger and misogynist".
"A formal state visit to Britain in June must be met with widespread opposition," she said.
"All those that value peace and hope for a better world for the many must take to the streets and say clearly that Donald Trump is not welcome here."
The US leader's working visit to the UK last summer, when he met the Queen at Windsor Castle, was also greeted with demonstrations.
A White House spokesman said: "This state visit will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
"In addition to meeting the Queen, the president will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.
"While in the United Kingdom, the president and first lady will attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, at one of the primary embarkation sites for the Allied operation that led to the liberation of Europe during World War II."
The D-Day event will be staged on Portsmouth's Southsea Common and involve live performances, military displays and tributes to the Allied troops who fought in Normandy, including a flypast of 26 RAF aircraft and at least 11 Royal Navy vessels in the Solent.
Mrs May said: "I am proud that the UK will host representatives and veterans from allied nations to pay tribute to that sacrifice and recognise the extraordinary co-operation that made the Normandy landings possible.
"And today - as we face new and different challenges to our security - we must continue to stand together to uphold our shared values and way of life."
The prime minister and the president and his wife will travel to Normandy on June 6 for further Normandy commemorations, with Mrs May attending a number of events including the inauguration of the British Normandy memorial in Ver-Sur-Mer.