LONDON (AP) — Mixing pageantry and pugilism, President Donald Trump plunged into his long-delayed state visit to Britain on Monday, welcomed with smiles and a cannon salute by the royals but launching political insults at others in a time of turmoil for both nations in the deep, if recently strained, alliance.

It was a whirlwind of pomp, circumstance and protest for Trump, who had lunch with Queen Elizabeth and tea with Prince Charles before a grand state dinner at Buckingham Palace.

The queen used her toast to emphasize the importance of international institutions created by Britain, the United States and other allies after World War II, a subtle rebuttal to Trump, a critic of NATO and the U.N.

But most of the talk and the colorful images were just what the White House wanted to showcase Trump as a statesman while, back home, the race to succeed him — and talk of impeaching him — heated up. Yet Trump, forever a counter-puncher, immediately roiled diplomatic docility by tearing into London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The agenda for Trump's weeklong European journey is mostly ceremonial:

Later this week come 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. For most presidents, it would be a time to revel in the grandeur, building relations with heads of state and collecting photo-ops for campaign ads and presidential libraries.

(1) comment

RedRover

there-day or three-day

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