US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania have touched down at Stansted Airport in London ahead of their controversial state visit, which will see them dine at Buckingham Palace and the President meet outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May for talks.
Two helicopters bearing the American stars and stripes are waiting for the President at Stansted to whisk him to the US ambassador’s residence in Regent's Park.
All roads and cycling routes around St James’s Park, Green Park and the western side of Parliament Square have been shut for the controversial visit, and will not reopen until this evening.
Trump will be welcomed to Buckingham Palace by the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall today, havign set off from Maryland in the US on the famous Air Force One presidential plane at around 1.45am UK time.
The new Duchess of Sussex, Trump’s compatriot Meghan Markle, will not meet the President during his state visit. On Sunday night Trump denied having called the Duchess “nasty” as the Sun newspaper had reported.
Yet the Sun released the transcript of the interview which confirmed that he had said: “I didn’t know she was nasty.”
The trip is Trump’s official state visit, a formal event full of pomp and pageantry, to the UK. His trip last year was classed as a working visit.
Like last year, Trump will be greeted in London by thousands of protestors when he meets PM May in Downing Street for talks on Tuesday.
On Sunday mayor of London Sadiq Khan criticised the state visit, saying in the Observer newspaper that Britain should not be “rolling out the red carpet” for a President who he said has used xenophobia and racism “as an electoral tactic”.
It is thought that the infamous “Trump baby” blimp – a giant balloon showing the President as a nappy-clad baby – will reappear, and be joined by a giant robot of the President sitting on a gold toilet.
Monday night will see the President and his wife attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace before a day of political and economic talks on Tuesday that will see Trump meet top UK business leaders.
Trump has waded into the Conservative leadership race, which is gearing up as May prepares to leave Downing Street, to say that bookies’ favourite Boris Johnson is a “very good guy” and would make an “excellent” prime minister.
On Wednesday Trump will attend 75th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings in Portsmouth alongside war veterans and the Queen, Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall.