The American President Donald Trump was welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Monday for an honorary state visit to the United Kingdom.
The president is in the UK for a three-day state visit, which includes the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
“After the shared sacrifices of the second World War, Britain and the United States worked with other allies to build an assembly of international institutions, to ensure that the horrors of conflict would never be repeated,” the Queen said, acknowledging the D-Day remembrance ceremonies set to take place in the coming days and the NATO alliance that formalizes the security alliance.
“Of course, it is not only our security which unites us, but our strong cultural links and shared heritage. Every year, there are almost 4 million visits by Americans to the United Kingdom, with a great number claiming British descent. And with your own Scottish ancestry, Mr. President, you too have a particular connection to this country,” the Queen said to the president, whose mother is of Scottish heritage.
“Mr. President, as we look to the future, I’m confident that our common values and shared interests will continue to unite us. Tonight, we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come,” the Queen said with Trump sitting at her side.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you all to rise and drink a toast to President and Mrs. Trump, to the continued friendship between our two nations and to the health, prosperity, and happiness of the people of the United States,” the Queen said.
The president said that he and the first lady are “profoundly honored” by the state visit and praised the Queen’s “nearly seven decades of treasured friendship with the United States of America.”
“From the Second World War to today, her majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these priceless traditions. She has embodied the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart. On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people,” Trump said.
Large-scale protests are planned in several UK cities during the three-day visit, including in London, where a “national demonstration” will start at Trafalgar Square at 11:00 on Tuesday.
Earlier, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — who boycotted the state dinner — tweeted: “Tomorrow’s protest against Donald Trump’s state visit is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country – including, just this morning, Sadiq Khan.”
Trump’s tweeted as he criticised the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and accused him of doing a “terrible job” as mayor, adding: “[He] has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting president of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me.”