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President Trump to pay 3-day state visit to Britain in June

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)

President Donald Trump will pay a three-day state visit to Britain as a guest of Queen Elizabeth II in June, Buckingham Palace announced Tuesday — more than two years after Britain extended him an invitation for a pomp-filled ceremonial stay.

The palace said Trump and his wife, Melania, had accepted an invitation from the queen for a visit that will take place June 3-5.

Though many other American presidents have visited the monarch, only two — George W. Bush and Barack Obama — were honored with a state visit, which typically features ceremonial greetings, a horse-drawn carriage ride and a banquet with the queen at Buckingham Palace.

It’s rare for a state visit to be announced just a few weeks before it takes place, but this one has been contentious ever since Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump soon after his inauguration in January 2017. The trip has been deferred amid concerns about the president’s reception in the U.K. and Britain’s extended crisis over Brexit, which has consumed most of the government’s political energy.

Trump finally made an official trip to the U.K. last summer, though that wasn’t a state visit. Demonstrators followed him everywhere nonetheless, with tens of thousands flooding the streets of central London to protest his presence and a 20-foot (6-meter) balloon depicting the U.S. president as a screaming baby flown near Parliament.

More protests are all but certain this time around.

Emily Thornberry, foreign affairs spokeswoman for Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, criticized the planned visit.

AP News

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