POTUS Has landed – finally! The one and only Donald Trump is at Buckingham Palace for lunch with the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Harry and other senior royals today as Britain rolled out the red carpet for the leader of the free world.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania landed at Her Majesty’s central London home while his visibly excited daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner peered from a window as he landed and thousands gathered on The Mall outside.
Marine One was set down on the lawn of Buckingham Palace and Prince Charles met Mr Trump as a Royal Salute of cannons was fired in neighbouring Green Park and further away at the Tower of London on the banks of the Thames.
The Prince of Wales took the President to meet the smiling Queen before she welcomed First Lady Melania, who was accompanied by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
Before his arrival at the Queen’s gaff, Trump had already achieved no what British politician to date has had the balls to even attempt – openly kicking-back at Remainer May and London Mayor weak Sadiq, calling Khan ‘dumb’ and accusing him of doing a lowsy job, and May as being too soft when it came to Brexit.
The President eviscerated Mr Khan on social media as Air Force One landed at Stansted Airport this morning saying he has ‘done a terrible job as Mayor of London’ and ‘should focus on crime in London, not me’.
Mr Trump had already weighed in on Brexit, the Tory leadership battle and his security concerns over Huawei as he took off from America and used his arrival in the UK to vent his fury over Mr Khan’s description of him as a ’21st century fascist’.
He ridiculed 5ft 6ins Mr Khan for being ‘short’ and compared him to 6ft 5ins New York counterpart Bill de Blasio saying: ‘Khan reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio – who has also done a terrible job’.
As his jumbo jet came into Stansted, Mr Trump took to social media and said: ‘Sadiq Khan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me’.
He added: ‘Khan reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now’.
Charles and Camilla escorted the US leader and the First Lady the short distance to the palace’s west terrace where the Queen was waiting.
Normally state visits see leading figures from national politics like the prime minister and Commissioner of the Met Police introduced to the visiting foreign leader, but it was just the three senior royals taking part in the ceremonial welcome.
The booming sounds of a double gun salute in nearby Green Park echoed around the palace grounds.
Soldiers from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery led 71 horses, pulling six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns, into place, to fire 82 blank artillery rounds at 10-second intervals.
The first 41-gun salute honoured Mr Trump’s state visit.
The second round of shots were staged to mark the 66th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation on Sunday.
The military’s celebration of the 1953 coronation was delayed until Monday as gun salutes are never fired on a Sunday.
With a 103-gun salute – 41 for the president and 62 for the coronation anniversary – also staged at the Tower of London, the British Army fired 185 guns in total for the historic double ceremonial salute.
The Trump state visit is the 112th Presidential visit of the Queen’s reign.
Crowds outside the palace watched with camera phones held high as Marine One made its way towards the back lawn.
Mr Trump took his time as he inspected the Guard of Honour, formed by Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards.
He walked ahead of Charles and strolled alongside Captain of the Guard Hamish Hardy.
The president stopped to chat to a number of the soldiers – who were dresses in red tunics and bearskin hats – at length.
When the royal party and their guests stepped from the palace the American national anthem was played and Mr Trump was invited to inspect the guard of honour.
Charles accompanied the president as he strode onto the lawns to inspect the waiting troops formed up in two lines with the guardsmen wearing their famous scarlet tunics and bearskins.
Among the soldiers, who when not performing ceremonial duties are fighting servicemen, was Guardsman Joshua Young-Hastings from Wandsworth, south London.
He was the tallest soldier in the guard of honour and played American Football for the London Warriors before joining the Army.
The guardsman was scouted for a professional career with America’s National Football League and was awarded a half scholarship with a Texas university but chose the Grenadier Guards over a sporting career.
The US President is in the UK for three days where the Queen will throw a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in his honour tonight after he meets Her Majesty for lunch and Prince Charles and his wife Camilla for tea later this afternoon.
Prince Harry will also attend the private lunch at the palace – although his wife Meghan Markle, who is on maternity leave, will be at home with their four-week-old son, Archie.