Britain rolled out the royal red carpet for Donald Trump onMonday but the pomp, pageantry and banquet with Queen Elizabeth looked set to beovershadowed by the U.S. President's views on Brexit, the UK's next leader anda row over China's Huawei.
Trump and his wife, Melania, were greeted by the 93-year-oldmonarch at Buckingham Palace at the start of a three-day state visit which seeshim feted with the full force of royal ceremony: a formal dinner with thequeen, tea with heir Prince Charles, and a tour of Westminster Abbey,coronation church of English monarchs for 1,000 years.
"I look forward to being a great friend to the UnitedKingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit," Trump wrote on Twitteras he landed at London's Stansted Airport.
But beyond the theatre, the proudly unpredictable 45th U.S.president is rocking the boat with the United States' closest ally, whosepolitical establishment has been in chaos for months over Britain's departurefrom the European Union.
As he was flying into the British capital, he reignited afeud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan – who had written on Sunday that Britainshould not be rolling out the red carpet for the U.S. president – describinghim as a "stone cold loser.
The state visit, promised by Prime Minister Theresa May backin January 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to meet him after hetook office, is cast as a chance to celebrate Britain's "special relationship"with the United States, boost trade links and reaffirm security cooperation.
At Buckingham Palace, Melania, stood beside Elizabeth andCharles's wife Camilla, while Charles and Trump inspected the guard.
Trump will have lunch with the queen before the monarch'ssecond son Prince Andrew accompanies him to Westminster Abbey where thepresident will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
The day culminates with a lavish state banquet at BuckinghamPalace – where men wear white tie coats with tails and women evening gowns.