Trump’s State Visit to the UK on Hold

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There’s been little news about the planned trip of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK since Parliament debated it back in February. Originally slated for June, it was pushed back to October, the spring slot filled by Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia (which was in turn delayed until July). Apparently this is because Trump has told Prime Minister Theresa May that he doesn’t wish to visit until it will have the support of the British public – an unlikely scenario given the protests that broke out in London over the winter and the million+ Britons who signed a petition to downgrade the visit from “state” to just “official.”

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William in Manchester following the recent terror attack there

The situation was unlikely to have been made better following remarks Trump made via Twitter after the recent terror attack in London in which he misquoted Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and criticized comments to the public not to be alarmed by increased police presence. US Ambassador to the UK Lewis Lukens followed up by praising Khan for his strong leadership in the wake of the tragic events.

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It’s probably just as well given the drama that surrounds the Trump administration and the fact that May’s invitation was widely decried as premature on both sides of the Atlantic. While the Queen is unlikely to have been moved much one way or the other, Trump has made inflammatory remarks about Diana, the late Princess of Wales, as well as the Duchess of Cambridge, making the chances of a potential meeting between Trump and the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge (not to mention Kate) slim.

The awkwardness of the delay comes on the heels of news that former President Barack Obama was recently in London and met privately with Prince Harry at Kensington Palace. According to the Palace’s Twitter account, the two “discussed support for veterans, mental health, conservation, empowering young people and the work of their respective foundations.”

Obama, meanwhile, tweeted that it was “good to see my friend Prince Harry.” Feeeels…pointed. On both sides.

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I had theorized a few months ago that if the visit did go forward Ivanka Trump would be deployed to meet with the Cambridges – a scenario made likelier by her presence during Trump’s most recent time in the Middle East and Europe. And while watching Kate and Ivanka could have run the gamut of awkward to hilarious to completely dull, I think we’re better appeased by a photo-op between Kate and Letizia this summer.

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Speaking of Kate, dates for her tour of Poland and Germany with William in July haven’t been announced yet. Given that Prince George’s birthday is on the 22nd, I had been assuming it would take place in the first half of the month, but that may be complicated now by the Spanish royal visit. Perhaps the first week of the month? I’d say it’s starting to be strange the final dates haven’t been announced, but given the recent attacks in England, it could very well be a matter of security.

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In any event, a new engagement has been announced for Kate this Friday. It will be her first in almost a month, which has been a little odd given how full her schedule was in April and early May. I’m assuming the family decamped for Norfolk after a long residency in London, but it’s just as likely they also managed to sneak out of the UK for a holiday. To make up for the gap in appearances I’m assuming the second half of June and July will be busy before another slow month in August.

 

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