Is Melania Trump Going To London? She's Meeting Queen Elizabeth At Windsor Castle
President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with both the Queen of England and British Prime Minister Theresa May as part of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom next week. But will Melania Trump be going to London? While the Trumps are headed across the pond, it appears they'll be avoiding London as much as possible.
While the president and the first lady will begin their visit to the United Kingdom in London, it doesn't appear that they'll spend a significant amount of time in the capital city. Downing Street announced Friday that President Trump would spend just one night of his visit — the evening of his arrival — in London, with the majority of his meetings and events planned to be held outside the city. News of Trump's practically London-less U.K. itinerary prompted allegations the president was looking to avoid coming face to face with "Trump Baby."
According to Reuters, more than 50,000 people are expected to protest Trump, his immigration policies, and his perceived racist and sexist rhetoric during his visit. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has even approved protesters' plans to fly a giant "Trump Baby" balloon over Parliament during the U.S. president's visit. The balloon depicts President Trump as a scowling orange baby, dressed only in a diaper.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson has, however, denied claims that the president is attempting to avoid having to witness any of the protests planned to take place against him in London. "No, the president is not avoiding anything," Johnson said in a press briefing, according to the Guardian. "The president is merely trying to get as impactful a trip as he can get in a 24-hour period." Johnson attempted to frame London as the base for Trump's visit.
Downing Street said Trump would attend a gala dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on Thursday before staying one night at Winfield House, the U.S. ambassador's official residence in London's Regent's Park. President Trump will then move on to meet with the British prime minister on Friday and attend a military display at a still undisclosed location, Reuters has reported. The two leaders will then travel to May's country retreat in Buckinghamshire for further meetings.
According to the Guardian, both Winfield House and Chequers, May's country house, are places where protesters can be kept out of sight and earshot."
May, however, has claimed that the locations on Trump's itinerary were selected not to help Trump avoid protesters but to show the visiting dignitary more than just London. "Prime ministers frequently make use of Chequers for meetings with foreign leaders," she said, per the Guardian. "It offers a more informal setting for important bilateral discussions. We're looking forward to making sure the president has a chance to see and experience the UK beyond London and the south-east."
The Trumps are also expected to meet with the queen at Windsor Castle on Friday before departing to spend the final two days of their visit in Scotland. The president's Scotland itinerary has not yet been made public although Downing Street reportedly described it as "a private element of the official visit." According to the BBC, Trump's mother was born in Scotland, having emigrated to the United States in the 1930s.
As first lady, Melania Trump is expected to follow a slightly different U.K. itinerary than her husband. While Donald Trump is in meetings with May on Friday, the British prime minister's husband, Philip May, is scheduled to keep Melania Trump company. Although details of their itinerary have not been made public, the pair are not likely to head into London for some sightseeing and a bite to eat at Borough Market. Hopefully, the first lady has already seen all of London's top sights.