Trump to mostly avoid London during trip
President Trump’s schedule for his upcoming trip to the United Kingdom has planned minimal time for the president in the city of London, potentially allowing Trump to avoid large-scale protests planned in the city.
White House officials confirmed the president’s schedule in a call with reporters on Friday. The president will spend just one night, Thursday night, in London before meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat in Buckinghamshire. Security there will limit protester access.
The president then plans to head to Windsor Castle to meet Queen Elizabeth II before moving to Scotland for the weekend.
Trump’s schedule for his two days in Scotland is not public yet, but the president owns a golf course in the country that he visited during the campaign in 2016. Original reports of Trump’s desire to visit Scotland during his trip to the U.K. noted that the security costs for one day in the country totaled as much as $6 million.
Large protests are planned in London during Trump’s visit, which is scheduled for July 12-15, including a large “Trump baby” blimp approved by London city officials to fly over Parliament. The balloon depicts the president as an orange infant.
“It’s just been announced: Donald Trump is coming to Britain on a state visit later this year,” reads a Facebook event description for a protest planned July 13-14 that has more than 58,000 saying they will attend. “We don’t know when. But let’s be ready — and be prepared to take to the streets in the most incredible protest in our history.”
Trump will not be in the city on Friday, when the blimp is approved to fly for a few hours during the planned protest.
A spokeswoman for May denied to The Guardian that the prime minister’s use of the Chequers retreat to meet with Trump was designed specifically to help the president avoid major protests.
“Prime ministers frequently make use of Chequers for meetings with foreign leaders,” she told the publication. “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.”
“We are a free and open democracy, and we believe in the right to peaceful protest,” May’s spokeswoman added. “But I would also say that I think the majority of British people understand the importance of the UK-US alliance.”