President Trump will spend most of his four-day visit to Great Britain away from London, where protests against him are scheduled to take place and a giant blimp mocking him will fly over Parliament.
According to No. 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s office, Trump will spend Thursday night in London after he arrives in Great Britain. Earlier that day he will attend a gala dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. On Friday, he will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May at her Chequers country retreat in Buckinghamshire before traveling to Windsor Castle to meet with Queen Elizabeth, then travel to Scotland for the weekend.
No. 10 said the trip to Scotland will be “a private element of the official visit.” It is generally believed Trump will play golf there.
U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson dismissed the idea that Trump is avoiding London because of the protests, asserting, “No, the president is not avoiding anything. The president is merely trying to get as impactful a trip as he can get in a 24-hour period.” Johnson acknowledged Trump had heard of the blimp, stating, “Yes, I think we’re all aware of these things.” The blimp flying over Parliament was approved by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Johnson added that Trump “appreciates free speech, both in this country and in our country.”
May’s spokeswoman echoed:
Prime ministers frequently make use of Chequers for meetings with foreign leaders. 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. But I would also say that I think the majority of British people understand the importance of the UK-US alliance.