By John Wagner
The Washington Post
The White House confirmed Tuesday that President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will make a state visit to the United Kingdom in early June, accepting an invitation that was first extended shortly after he took office in 2017.
Trump traveled to Britain last year on a working visit, which included a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II but lacked the full trappings of a state visit. His trip was greeted with massive protests, and demonstrators are already pledging to come out in full force again.
In addition to meeting the queen, Trump is planning a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, the White House said.
“This state visit will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” the White House said in a statement.
Striking a similar note, May said in statement that the visit would be “an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead.”
The planned visit comes amid strained relations between Trump and May. On the eve of last year’s visit, Trump was quoted in a British tabloid criticizing her approach to Brexit and threatening to upend the U.S.-U.K. trade relationship.
Trump has also drawn the ire of the British by sharing inflammatory anti-Muslim videos on Twitter posted by a far-right British activist.
During last year’s visit, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has publicly clashed with Trump, allowed protesters to fly a giant orange balloon of the president depicted as a baby in a diaper over the city.
While in Britain for their upcoming visit, the Trumps also plan to attend a ceremony to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day at one of the primary embarkation sites for the Allied operation that helped defeat Nazi Germany and liberate Europe during World War II, the White House said.
According to May’s office, countries that fought alongside the United Kingdom in the military operation, as well as Germany, have been invited to attend. The gathering will include live performances, military displays and tributes to the Allied troops who fought in Normandy in World War II.
Following his June 3 to 5 visit to the United Kingdom, Trump plans to travel to France, where he will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Emmanuel Macron and travel to Normandy to observe the 75th Anniversary of D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.
William Booth in London contributed to this report.