It’s common knowledge that Donald Trump is no shrinking violet, never one to stray from the spotlight or deny himself any pomp or pageantry that may make itself available. In fact, quite often he finds himself demanding it, such as the conditions under which his visit to the United Kingdom will take place.
Despite major security concerns, President Trump has apparently “made it clear” that he would only go the trip that includes paying a visit to Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II, if he gets to travel in a horse-drawn, gold-plated carriage procession that would make its way down the Royal Mile to Buckingham Palace, creating an unprecedented security nightmare for London’s Metropolitan Police Force.
Trump, who is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom in October, already has the London’s police preparing for what they claim to be “the biggest public order operation in several years.” Their concerns, however, don’t only involve the President’s safety, but how to also handle the hoards of protestors that are expected to take to the city’s streets upon his arrival.
Former President Barack Obama was offered the exact same luxury upon his 2011 state visit to the UK, but declined the offer to avoid the security problems, instead opting to travel in a bullet and bomb-proof vehicle as a part of an armored motorcade, a sensible step away from the standard protocol for presidential visits to London.
A source within the Metropolitan police stated that “the vehicle which carries the president of the United States is a spectacular vehicle, designed to withstand a massive attack like a low-level rocket grenade. If he’s in that vehicle he is incredibly well protected and on top of that he can travel at enormous speed. If he is in a golden coach being dragged up the Mall by a couple of horses, the risk factor is dramatically increased.”
The source continued, “There may well be protections in that coach such as bulletproof glass, but they are limited. In particular it is very flimsy.” The president still may get his wish, however, as British politician Jacob Rees-Mogg said prior to Trump’s inauguration “There are no second-tier state visits. If you come on a state visit you go for a ride in a carriage with the Queen, you get invited to a state dinner, you get to stay in Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle and the protective guard turns out to be inspected by you.”