The Times of London reported Saturday that President Donald Trump wishes to proceed with a gold-plated carriage procession during his visit to London, currently planned for the second week in October, despite security concerns.
When former president Barack Obama visited Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in 2011, he arrived in an armored motorcade, in a slight change of usual protocol, The Times noted. In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping, however, took the precaution of a closed, rather than open, carriage from the Royal Mews for his ceremonial ride with the Queen.
According to the Times, security sources have warned, however, that Trump’s procession will require a “monster” security operation, far greater than for any recent state visit. With tens of thousands of people expected to descend on the area to protest, senior police are already grappling with how to achieve a balance between Mr. Trump’s security and allowing the public’s right to protest.
A White House spokeswoman called the report “completely false.”
“We have not even begun working on details for this trip,” the spokeswoman said.
On Friday, President Trump’s administration had announced it will no longer release White House visitors logs. The White House argues that they are not bound to disclose the records, and that the Obama Administration scrubbed so many records because they were sensitive that they provided only a “facade of transparency.”
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Trump’s upcoming visit to the U.K. has already caused some drama across the pond. Shortly after his inauguration, Queen Elizabeth II formally invited Trump for a State Visit, a standard invitation from the Queen for American presidents. However, many British people were upset by the invitation, with 1 million people signing a petition to ban him from visiting. (In actuality, they cannot ban POTUS from visiting but wanted to make the visit an unofficial visit to spare the Queen “embarrassment.”) Despite the petition’s popularity, the visit would go ahead as planned.
Still, there are rumors that it may be awkward for Trump to meet with other senior members of the royal family, who typically attend official events surrounding state visits. It was previously reported that Trump had said he didn’t want to be “lectured” by Prince Charles on policy — the two differ on a number of policy points, most notably climate change — and Trump has famously said some not-so-polite things about the royal family, including Princess Kate and the late Princess Diana.