23:10 GMT +319 September 2018
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    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she attends an event at Newbury Racecourse in Newbury England, Friday April 21, 2017.

    No Trumpets Out for US President as Low Key Britain Visit Planned Instead

    © AP Photo / Andrew Matthews
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    US President Donald Trump is expected to visit Britain early next year - but will be denied the chance to meet the Queen or stay at Buckingham Palace, according to reports.

    Diplomats on both sides are trying to determine how to stage a scaled-down "working" trip to the UK, possibly as early as January, instead of being extended the honor of a lavish state visit.

    A senior US diplomatic figure has hinted Mr. Trump could be asked to open his country's new embassy in Britain in order to avoid any embarrassment, having earlier been offered a full-blown state visit by British Prime Minister Theresa May within days of his inauguration in January.

    His planned visit will be a more low key event, where he would be a guest of the US ambassador Woody Johnson rather than Britain's royal family.

    It has been suggested that the move will disappoint Mr. Trump, who is understood to have asked for a carriage ride down The Mall and a round of golf at Balmoral, the Queen's holiday retreat in the Scottish highlands. The president has previously spoken of how his Scottish mother was a "big fan" of Her Majesty.

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are driven along the Mall during the Patron's Lunch.
    © AFP 2018 / Arthur Edwards
    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are driven along the Mall during the Patron's Lunch.

    Both British and US officials have insisted a full visit would still go ahead but refused to comment on claims his first trip to Britain as president will now be a more muted affair, having been left out of the most recent Queen's Speech leading to claims that preparations had stalled.

    "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," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

    Not So 'Special Relationship'

    Some critics of the proposed full-scale state visit have suggested it could be viewed as a further softening of the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States as hopes of an impending trade deal appear distant.

    The news has, however, prompted a bitter outburst from former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who branded the decision as the "biggest insult" to a democratically elected leader. He insisted Britain should have welcomed the "most powerful man in the world" with open arms.

    "What I'm saying is, is this not the biggest insult to a democratically elected US president? The rest of the world rolls out the red carpet but for us, it will be a working visit. Whether you like Trump or you don't like Trump, he's the most powerful man in the world," Mr. Farage insisted.

    "Everywhere he goes he is given a full state visit and yet, with this country, it has been decided that when he will come in 2018 he will not go to Buckingham Palace for dinner. He will not stay at Buckingham Palace. He will probably stay with the United States' new ambassador, Woody Johnson, and they got a residence down in Battersea. It's all been downgraded," he added.

    Divisions, Displeasures, Petitions

    The official invitation by Theresa May — traditionally reserved for a US president's second term in office — immediately prompted threats of mass protests and boycotts over the president's controversial record. Indeed the White House had to deny reports made during the summer that Mr. Trump wanted to delay his visit until he could be assured of a better reception from the public.

    More than 1.8 million people in Britain signed a petition against the plans, prompting House of Commons speaker John Bercow to announce his opposition to a move to allow Mr. Trump to address parliament. 

    US President Donald Trump, right, talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Taormina, Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017.
    © AP Photo / Luca Bruno
    US President Donald Trump, right, talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Taormina, Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017.

    MPs from across the political aisle criticized the invitation, more than 200 signed an early day motion opposing it, as did London mayor Sadiq Khan to voice his displeasure, saying he was "not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet" for the president.

    It is understood the president is planning to visit other European capital cities in the coming year, having already made trips to Paris where he spent Bastille Day as the guest of French president Emmanuel Macron, as well as the Vatican and Hamburg where he attended G20 talks.


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    state visit, divisions, embassy, official visit, petition, protests, diplomacy, John Bercow, Woody Johnson, Sadiq Khan, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Theresa May, United States, United Kingdom, London
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