Why Queen will welcome Trump despite protests
On dozens of occasions the Queen has opened up her home and extended the hand of hospitality to foreign heads of state.
It is always her name on the invitation of a state visit, after all how could any world leader turn down an opportunity to meet Her Majesty?
But she doesn’t get to choose her latest guest – these visits always come at the request of the government and Foreign Office.
They decide who is worthy of a full state visit and the latest invitation to President Trump is no different.
It will not be the first time that a guest of the Queen has raised a few eyebrows. There were protests during the visits of the Chinese and Saudi heads of state to London.
Names such Romania’s President Nicolae Ceausescu, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe are possibly all signatures the Queen would rather not have in her guest book.
The momentum behind this petition asking to scrap President Trump’s state visit has still come as a surprise, with over a million signatures claiming “it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”.
Does she see it that way? I doubt it. While the palace has so far stayed quiet about the visit, the Queen realises it is her duty to be friendly and welcoming to all of her guests, and that her hospitality is an important way in which she can serve our country.
She knows the quiet power the Royal Family has on the international stage; they are a secret weapon for the government. An audience with the Queen is enough to make any world leader feel special.
Not every American president has received a full state visit but that’s exactly what Donald Trump will experience.
British pageantry at its finest: the dust sheets are pulled off the gold carriages, the state banquet cutlery is polished.
The ultimate in keeping up appearances, even if hundreds of thousands of your subjects would rather this latest guest had stayed at home.