Donald Trump has insisted that only the queen’s chariot is good enough when he makes his first official visit to the UK as president of the US. White House staffers are alleged to have told their counterparts in the UK that the new president expects to take a traditional welcome ride in the royal carriage.
The ornate, gilt carriage dates from the 1760s. Due to weight and difficulties in manoeuvring, it is only dusted off for high profile occasions. President Trump is believed to have stated that he expects to ride down the royal thoroughfare, the Mall, to Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth II when he visits London in October.
The demand has left US and UK security officials scratching their heads. The state visit was always going to be problematical. After the UK invited the president to make an official visit, almost two million people put their names to a petition saying the invitation should be withdrawn.
The visit is expected to cause mass demonstrations in London. The Met police say they will already have their work cut out without having to protect a flimsy vehicle on a route that will be almost impossible to secure. An anonymous source close to the US team stated that the carriage is not even bulletproof and a far cry from the rocket resistant limo the US president usually travels in.
The source continued by saying that a chariot drawn by eight horses was not going to be able to make a quick getaway in the event of a terrorist attack. Security advisors have noted that when Barack Obama visited in 2011 he was transported in an armoured car.