President Donald Trump is in London and the desire in the U.K. to carry out Brexit from the European Union has just cost the prime minister her job, but the British don’t want him there, according to a piece Monday in the Washington Post.
“Britain is gearing up for this week’s state visit by President Trump as only Britain can do,” wrote Karla Adam and Griff Witte under the headline “As Trump’s state visit looms, Britain seems a reluctant host.”
There will be “an official greeting ceremony at Buckingham Palace, a lavish banquet with the queen’s best china, a gun salute fired from Green Park and the Tower of London.
“It will all be suitably over-the-top. But there is a sense that British officials are slightly less than enthusiastic about this particular round of state visit grandeur.”
Trump will not stay in Buckingham Palace, which is under renovation. Instead, he will stay at the residence of the American ambassador. There will be no royal welcome at the Horse Guards Parade nor a cold carriage procession down the Mall.
The Post then quotes the head of the Americas program at Chatham House, a left-of-center British think tank: “When extending a visit and making those plans concrete, you want to feel excited and joyful at the idea, and I think people have sort of seen it as something they have to get through.”
Lesile Vinjamuri, the head of the program, did admit, “Anytime an American president comes to town it’s exciting,” but followed with “not necessarily for the right reasons, but certainly, people are very aware around town, not least because of the traffic jams.”
The Brits keep voting as Trump wants them to – they voted for Brexit, then for a conservative government to implement it, then for a party whose sole reason for existing is to make a break from the EU – clean or otherwise – as soon as possible.
But somehow he himself is not wanted there, the Post said. The idea of Trump visiting Britain “was roundly panned by Britons from nearly every party who wondered why Trump was being accorded an honor that other world leaders wait years for – and most U.S. presidents never received at all. That Trump was widely loathed by the British public only added to the consternation,” Adam and Witte wrote.
After a two-year battle in which members of Parliament tried to pass a resolution to deny Trump entry into the U.K., then tried to force the government to withdraw the invitation, the queen announced the visit would go forward.
Even so, this doesn’t mean she likes Trump.
The Post wrote: “That’s the queen’s job, dealing with people whether she likes them or not,” said Robert Lacey, a royal biographer, who noted that the queen may not have liked all of the 13 British prime ministers who have served during her reign, but she still meets them every week for ‘audiences’ and ‘treats them with total dignity.’
“The queen has dealt with monsters in her time, from Idi Amin to Robert Mugabe,’ he said. ‘and this is an elected head of state of our most important ally and friend. This is her job.’”