Trump to lunch with Queen on state visit

President Donald Trump will lunch with the Queen and meet PM Theresa May during his UK state visit.
President Donald Trump will lunch with the Queen and meet PM Theresa May during his UK state visit.

US President Donald Trump will attend a banquet at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth and hold talks with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May during his state visit to Britain next month, the palace says.

Trump and first lady Melania are due in Britain on June 3 for the state visit and he will become only the third US president to be accorded the honour, after George W. Bush in 2003 and Barack Obama in 2011.

He will be greeted on his arrival at Buckingham Palace by the 93-year-old monarch with her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla before he attends a private lunch hosted by the queen.

During his three-day visit, the president will also have a private tea with Charles, lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey as well as attending events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

There will also be talks with May, who announced on Friday she would quit as prime minister after failing to deliver Brexit. The contest to replace her will begin the week after Trump's visit.

Britain's so-called special relationship with the US is one of the enduring alliances of the past century but some British voters see Trump as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on issues ranging from global warming to his treatment of women.

Campaigners have said they would hold large demonstrations during the visit, echoing similar protests by hundreds of thousands of people that accompanied his trip to Britain in 2018.

During that trip, Trump shocked Britain's political establishment by giving a withering assessment of May's Brexit strategy. He said she had failed to follow his advice, such as suing the EU, but later said May was doing a fantastic job.

On Friday, he said he felt "badly" for May, whom he described as being a "very strong" person who worked hard.

"It's for the good of her country," he said of her resignation before adding, "I like her very much. In fact, I'll be seeing her in two weeks."

Australian Associated Press