Belfast Telegraph

Trump set to receive invite from Queen in bid to woo president

By Lucy Pasha-Robinson

The Queen will reportedly invite Donald Trump to Windsor Castle as part of a Government strategy to foster closer ties with the newly-elected American president.

Mr Trump will be welcomed as part of an official state visit in the summer of 2017, with plans in the process of being finalised by senior Whitehall officials.

An official invitation is expected to be sent to the White House following the Republican leader's inauguration on January 20, with the Queen expected to send a congratulatory message.

Two ministers and a senior official close to Downing Street confirmed discussions with Mr Trump's team were due to begin to ensure his availability for June or July next year. A source from the Prime Minister's office also confirmed that Mr Trump would visit in 2017, according to The Times.

Mr Trump has already met with one Briton following his election victory, Brexiteer Nigel Farage. The pair, who have both sought to present themselves as "anti-establishment", were photographed in front of a gold-plated lift at the meeting at Trump Tower in New York. Fellow Leave advocates Arron Banks, Andy Wigmore and Raheem Kassam were also in attendance.

One member of the group said: "He's a massive Anglophile. He was really, really keen. His late mother, Mary, loved the Queen. He said, 'I'm going to meet her, too. I can't wait to come over to England. My mum would be chuffed to bits when I meet the Queen'," he said.

The Queen has been labelled Theresa May's "secret weapon" to encourage closer ties between the UK and the US, one the Prime Minister will be eager to deploy faced with Mr Farage's closeness to the president.

A source said: "The Government has decided that their secret weapon to get in with Trump is to offer him an early visit to the Queen, him and Melania staying at Windsor Castle."

Another cabinet source said: "The Queen is the key here. She's not a secret weapon, she's the biggest public weapon you have. Nigel Farage can't get (Trump) in front of the Queen."

Belfast Telegraph


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