Donald Trump is set to visit the UK in early 2018 – but for a ‘stripped-down’ trip that won’t involve taking tea with the Queen.
Fears of mass protests have led diplomats to discuss downgrading the US President’s plans from a full-blown State Visit, according to the London Evening Standard.
Instead of receiving a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace, the revised programme would see Trump embark on a “working” trip as part of a tour of other European states.
Theresa May tried to underline her close relations with the US President in January, when she invited him to stage a State Visit as guest of the Queen.
The trip had been expected this summer, but the snap election as well as growing controversy over Trump’s foreign policy have led to a rethink.
The newly stripped-down visit is expected to focus on global security issues.
Trump may be allowed cut the ribbon on the brand new US embassy which is close to completion at Nine Elms, near Battersea Power Station.
But he will not sleep at Buckingham Palace as the guest of the Queen, probably staying at the residence of the new US ambassador Woody Johnson instead.
A source close to Sadiq Khan confirmed to HuffPost UK that the Mayor of London, who led criticism of the State Visit invitation, “would not object” to a working visit.
The first real clue that the planned State Visit would not be going ahead in 2017 came in the Queen’s Speech in June.
Her Majesty usually lists all formal visits for the coming year, but pointedly did not include the US President’s trip.
The absence of Trump’s tour from her speech wsa clearest signal yet that no date has been agreed on his controversial visit.
It followed claims that he was worried about mass street protests causing embarrassment to himself and the Royal Family.
Some protestors had even planned to ‘moon’ the president en masse, as part of a campaign called ‘Show your rump to Trump’.
The Foreign Office said a State Visit, which is seen by MPs as being on indefinite hold, would go ahead at some stage.
“Our position on the State Visit has not changed – an offer has been extended and President Trump has accepted.
“Exact dates for President Trump to visit have not yet been arranged.”