President Donald Trump arrived in London for an official state visit, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump and others, including daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, two of his top advisers.
Trump landed on June 3, taking to his favorite platform to share his thoughts as the plane set down. After criticizing London Mayor Sadiq Khan, he added: “I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit.”
Queen Elizabeth II and her son and heir Prince Charles greeted the Trumps at Buckingham Palace, with the queen smiling broadly as she welcomed them.
The President of the United States and Mrs Trump are welcomed by The Queen on the West Terrace of Buckingham Palace. #USStateVisit pic.twitter.com/jJjx7JhzB8
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 3, 2019
The schedule for the three-day visit includes a formal dinner with the queen, tea with the prince, and a tour of Westminster Abbey.
The centerpiece of the president’s visit will be two days to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, likely the last significant commemoration most veterans of the 1944 battle will see.
The anniversary events will begin in Portsmouth, England, where the invasion was launched, and then move to Normandy, France, where Allied forces began to recapture Western Europe from the Nazis.
Trump was also slated to conduct his first presidential visit to Ireland, which will include a stay at his coastal golf club.
At Buckingham Palace Melania stood beside Elizabeth and Charles’s wife Camilla, while Charles and Trump inspected the Guard of Honor formed by the Grenadier Guards wearing traditional bearskin hats. Melania and Camilla wore white dresses, while the queen donned a light blue dress; all wore hats. Trump and Charles wore suits.
Royal gun salutes were fired from nearby Green Park and from the Tower of London as part of the pageantry accompanying an official state visit, one of the highest honors Britain can bestow on a foreign leader.
While Trump lashed out at Sadiq Khan after the mayor made disparaging comments about the president, he praised several British politicians, including former London mayor and prime minister hopeful Boris Johnson, putting Johnson forward as a potential replacement for Theresa May, who is set to step down as Conservative leader on Friday.
“I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent,” Trump told The Sun. “I like him. I have always liked him. I don’t know that he is going to be chosen, but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person.”
“He has been very positive about me and our country,” Trump added.
Trump likewise said good things about Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, saying the government should include him in exit talks.
“He has a lot to offer,” Trump told The Sunday Times. “He is a very smart person. They won’t bring him in. Think how well they would do if they did. They just haven’t figured that out yet.”
While some were critical of Trump for weighing in on British politics, he told a reporter in Washington before he departed that he was just answering questions. “Don’t ask me the question if you don’t want me to talk about it,” he said.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.