Mixing pageantry and political pugilism, President Trump opened a state visit to Britain on Monday by drawing a smile from Queen Elizabeth II and stepping up a long-running feud with London's anti-Trump mayor before his plane had touched down on English soil. Trump and his wife, Melania, flew by helicopter to Buckingham Palace, landing on a lawn where Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, greeted them. They received a deafening royal gun salute as they walked to the palace, where a waiting queen smiled at the president, the AP reports. Those were the images sought by a White House eager to showcase Trump as a statesman while, back home, the race to replace him—and talk of impeaching him—heated up. Yet Trump, forever a counterpuncher, immediately roiled diplomatic docility by tearing into London Mayor Sadiq Khan (more on that here).
The agenda for Trump's weeklong journey is mostly ceremonial: a state visit and audience with the queen, D-Day commemoration ceremonies on both sides of the English Channel, and his first presidential visit to Ireland, which will include a stay at his coastal golf club. During the palace welcome ceremony, Trump and Prince Charles inspected the guard of honor formed by the Grenadier Guards wearing the traditional bearskin hats. After lunch with the queen, Trump was shown parts of the collection at Buckingham Palace, including an 18th-century map of New York, historic photos of golf at St. Andrews, and books about birds and George Washington. Westminster Abbey was next, with a tour and moment of silence at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. He will be honored later Monday at an extravagant state dinner at Buckingham Palace. (On Sunday, Trump denied insulting Meghan Markle.)