Dear Commons Community,
President Trump’s visit to London is being marked by pomp and protests. On Monday there was all the pomp of meeting Queen Elizabeth, Buckingham Palace, a state dinner, and the Queen’s Guards. Yesterday was a different story as thousands protested Trump’s visit in Trafalgar Square complete with a Baby Trump balloon.
The official portion of the visit began as the White House had hoped, with the president and first lady Melania Trump welcomed at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, before receiving a gun salute and reviewing an honor guard in the palace garden.
The queen greeted Trump with a smile and a handshake before leading everyone inside. Trump avoided the breach of protocol last year that marred their first meeting, when the president walked in front of the queen.
The day was capped off by a lavish state banquet, where guests dined on filet of halibut and lamb saddle and sipped Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1990, which retails in the U.S. for between $700 and $800 a bottle, according to wine-searcher.com.
Trump and the queen offered each other toasts that stuck to script, marking their countries’ victory in World War II and touting their shared values.
“On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of her majesty, the queen,” the president, wearing a white tie and tails, said while reading from prepared remarks.
The images were broadcast live by cable and broadcast television networks in the U.S., cutting into news coverage that had been dominated by his roiling moves on trade, the ongoing debate about whether congressional Democrats should impeach him and growing scrutiny of the White House’s Middle East peace plan.
But yesterday Trump’s visit was a different story while meeting with ongoing Prime Minister Theresa May, thousands gathered and marched to protest his visit.
Trump downplayed the protests, tweeting that his London visit “is going really well” and saying he has seen only “tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our Country.”
The videos above and below capture the tenor of Trump’s visit.