The ins and outs of a state visit as Donald Trump trip announced

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As the UK prepares to welcome American president Donald Trump, here’s a look at the workings of a state visit.

– What is a state visit?

A state visit is when a foreign monarch, president or prime minister is invited to visit the Queen on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Chinese President's state visit
The Queen shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade (Chris Jackson/PA)

The Queen usually hosts her visitors at either Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, or sometimes at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

President Obama's state visit
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on the steps of Buckingham Palace in 2011 (Ben Gurr/PA)

It usually begins with the Queen and other members of the royal family greeting the head of state with a ceremonial welcome, normally on Horse Guards Parade.

King Willem Alexander state visit to UK
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and the Prince of Wales review the Honour Guard during a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in London (Matt Dunham/PA)

– Does this always happen?

– No. US President George W Bush’s controversial visit in 2003 was met with large protests over the Iraq War.

Queen with George Bush
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh stand alongside President George Bush and his wife Laura on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in 2003 (Chris Ison/PA)

Barack Obama’s state visit in 2011 also began with an official welcome inside the palace grounds.

– What else could Donald Trump expect?

There is likely to be a lunch at a royal residence, followed by a look at a display of US-related items from the Royal Collection.

Then, on the evening of the arrival day, Mr Trump would be expected to attend a lavish state banquet.

King Felipe VI's State Visit
The Queen and King Felipe VI of Spain share a toast during the state banquet at Buckingham Palace (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

– The dress code is tiaras and white tie. Around 170 VIP guests – invited on the basis of their cultural, diplomatic or economic links to the country being hosted – dine on an exquisite menu prepared by royal chefs and served on historic, priceless dinner sets.

The ballroom during a state banquet
Guests in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace ahead of a state banquet (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Windsor Castle banquet
A state banquet in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in 2015 (Oli Scarff/PA)

A scene at a state banquet
The Duchess of Cambridge and Chinese President Xi Jinping listen as the Queen delivers a speech (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

– What else happens during a state visit?

During Mr Trump’s three-day visit from June 3 to June 5, he will meet Prime Minister Theresa May and be expected to meet government ministers and leaders of the main political parties.

Blair and Bush
Prime Minister Tony Blair with President George Bush at Downing Street during the 2003 state visit (PA)

Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

– What else could we expect?

Protests. Mr Trump’s trip – which will take place amid intense security – will be highly controversial.

Trump Baby Blimp
A Trump baby blimp is inflated during a practice test at Bingfield Park in north London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

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