Trumps have busy day with Royal Family on first day of state visit
Donald Trump and his wife Melania have a busy day of meet-and-greets with the Royal Family on the first day of their state visit.
The US president and the First Lady took off from Joint Base Andrews near Washington DC at around 8.45pm local time on Sunday evening (1.45am BST) and are expected to land at Stansted later this morning.
From there the Trumps are due to head to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
A string of events have been prepared to honour the couple, including a ceremonial welcome in the Buckingham Palace garden before Mr Trump has the opportunity to inspect the Guard of Honour.
Elsewhere, royal gun salutes will fire in Green Park and at the Tower of London to mark the Trumps’ arrival.
They will then visit Westminster Abbey where the president is due to lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
The day is due to conclude with a state banquet at Buckingham Palace at which both the Queen and Mr Trump will give speeches.
The president sparked controversy over the weekend by calling on Britain to be ready to leave the European Union without a deal and refuse to pay the £39 billion divorce bill if Brussels refuses to meet its demands.
He also urged the Government to send Nigel Farage into the negotiations.
He told the Sunday Times it was a “mistake” not to involve Brexit Party leader Mr Farage in negotiations, saying he has a “lot to offer” and is someone he likes “a lot”.
Mr Trump also weighed in on the Tory leadership race, telling the Sun: “I think Boris (Johnson) would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent. 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.”
Mr Trump has also denied calling the Duchess of Sussex “nasty” after he was confronted with comments she made before the 2016 US elections saying she would leave the country if he won.
He told the Sun’s political editor “I didn’t know that she was nasty” in a taped interview.
In a Twitter post he wrote: “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty’. Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold!”
A protest through central London against the visit has been organised for Tuesday, with the “Trump baby” blimp made for his visit last year due to put in an appearance.