Huge protests in London as Donald Trump visits, meets Queen Elizabeth II
But as CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reported, this is not the grand visit he was originally promised — it is a much delayed, much diminished “working visit,” most of it planned for outside of central London, where the protesters have prepared their own special welcome.
Leo Murray, who calls himself “Trump baby’s” daddy, told Phillips that the 20-foot-high protest balloon design was chosen deliberately because Mr. Trump, “is uniquely vulnerable to personal insults, so we just got right down at his level, to speak to him in a language that he understands.”
Murray, grandson of a former Labor Party parliamentarian, has a history of leading protests but says the balloon idea emerged one afternoon at a pub with friends.
Mr. Trump declared on Thursday in Brussels that, “I think they like me a lot in the U.K.”
According to recent surveys by non-partisan British polling organization YouGov, only 11 percent of Britons said they thought Mr. Trump was a “great” or “good president.” By contrast, 67 percent said they believed he was a “poor” or “terrible president.”
As Phillips says, on the whole, the U.S. leader may not get the reception in Britain that he had hoped for.
Follow along for live updates on Friday’s protests and President Trump’s visit to Britain:
Trump meets Queen Elizabeth II
President Trump and first lady Melania are at Windsor Castle, east of London, this afternoon to meet Queen Elizabeth II. The president arrived on board his Marine One helicopter to the castle grounds just before 12 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. British time).
The British monarch was already waiting for him in a tent set up in a central courtyard or quadrangle at the ancient castle, in front of a formation of Cold Stream Guards, one of Britain’s oldest Army units, who were to perform a “Trooping of the Color” ceremony for the heads of state.
As CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata reported earlier today, Mr. Trump has expressed great admiration for the British monarch, and said both he and Melania were eager to meet her.
The first couple were driven into the castle quadrangle in one of the royal family’s Land Rovers, and then then stood on either side of the monarch with their hands on their chests as the U.S. National Anthem was belted out British military brass.
Mini-Trump soars… low
A smaller version of the no infamous “Trump baby” balloon, which London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave permission to fly over Parliament Square on Friday morning, made an appearance among the throngs of protesters later in the day.
“We took some of the hot air out of bigger Donald, some of the narcissism, some of the fascism, and a little bit of the xenophobia,” Barny Francis, one of the people holding the smaller balloon down with tether ropes told CBS News’ Haley Ott as he marched. “We put it into this smaller version of him, Francis continued.
“So he’s still full of hot gas, it’s just a little version of him now. This is mini-Donald,” he said, adding that the larger balloon was on a “secret mission.”
Francis and his companions wore red jumpsuits an hats emblazoned with a slogan declaring them “Trump Babysitters.”
“Pro-America, anti-Donald Trump”
“We are pro-America, anti-Donald Trump,” Catherine Murgatroyd told CBS News as she marched in central London on Friday to protest President Trump’s visit to Britain.
Murgatroyd travelled from Portsmouth on England’s south coast to London with her daughter to participate in the protests. She helped hold up one side of an oversized sign reading “UK REJECTS TRUMP!!” as she and thousands of others marched toward Parliament Square in the heart of the city.
“We think it’s important that the U.K. stand up against someone with a lack of morals like Donald Trump,” Murgatroyd told CBS News’ Haley Ott. She said she wanted to communicate to Mr. Trump, “that he’s not welcome. That we don’t tolerate people with a disregard for human rights.”
President Trump is holding a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Teresa May in the middle of his trip to the United Kingdom. Mr. Trump’s visit to Britain is sandwiched between the Brussels NATO summit, where he blasted allies over defense spending and trade, and ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
The president and May met before the press conference at her country residence Chequers, and in a photo opportunity with reporters, Mr. Trump said that they had worked hard together at the NATO summit and declared that NATO has never been more united.
The two leaders did not address his comments to the Sun newspaper, in which he blasted May’s blueprint for Britain’s exit from the European Union, during the photo op, though a pool reporter asked about the interview.
“The relationship is very strong,” Mr. Trump said. He also said they “probably never developed a better relationship than last night,” during their dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will sit down later Friday with Queen Elizabeth II for their first official visit with the monarch. She has met nearly every one of the last 12 U.S. presidents.
Mr. Trump has said he is looking forward to meeting the queen, whom he described as an “incredible woman,” at Windsor Castle.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata says that while Her Majesty the queen and the current U.S. president may have very different personalities, royal biographer Robert Hardman doesn’t see any problems ahead for their encounter.
“They actually have quite a lot in common. They’ve both got Scottish mothers, they both own fairly large parts of Scotland — in her case Balmoral, in his case two golf courses — and she’s used to dealing with the most appalling despots, monsters, crooks, dictators,” Hardman said. “I think they’re going to get on great.”
Stick with CBSNews.com and CBSN for live coverage of the Trumps’ visit with the queen from about noon Eastern.
I think that this march in particular deals with a lot of the issues that we talk about in Stormy’s case, and I think it deals significantly with the issues that I’m dealing with day in and day out, as it relates to some of these mothers who have been separated from their children from the southern border of the United States… The bottom line is these families need to be reunited yesterday.”
“To say someone resisted”
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Portland Place in central London on Friday morning ahead of the first of two large protests planned in the capital, where tens of thousands are expected to demonstrate against President Trump’s first visit to the United Kingdom as U.S. leader.
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer says as many as 50,000 protesters were expected to take to London’s streets on Friday, which would make it the biggest weekday demonstration in the British capital in 15 years.
“We just wanted to really highlight the fact that many citizens are not happy with the divisive rhetoric that has been coming out of the Trump-Pence administration,” protest organizer Huda Jawad told CBS News’s Haley Joelle Ott.
“I’m a woman. I’m a woman of color. I came to this country as a refugee… I also have two boys,” she said. “They’re growing up in an increasingly uncomfortable, unsafe world and environment, and I wanted to do this for them.”