The White House has apparently submitted an itinerary that includes a carriage procession down the Mall, to announce Trump’s arrival. Chinese President Xi Jinping took a closed carriage ride during a trip to the palace in 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have also taken these types of rides in the past. Barack Obama opted for an armoured car during his visit in 2011.“The security required by the Chinese president will be dwarfed by the operation necessitated for Mr. Trump,” the Times noted.
Admittedly, I’m not privy to the behavioural expectations of U.S. Presidents meeting the Queen of England. I’ve always assumed it mirrored that scene in Downton Abbey, when Cora’s American mother swooped into town — nouveau-riche style — with an obnoxious list of dietary restrictions for the kitchen staff. So if Trump wants a golden carriage ride, reminiscent of a certain Disney princess, that’s his prerogative.
In the past, our concern with presidential manners often began and ended with whether or not the president shook a dignitary’s hand, or smiled in a photo. All of which Donald Trump has come under fire for. Then again, considering Trump’s widespread criticism, perhaps coming into Britain like the second coming of the Beatles, armed with a tour rider that demands a golden carriage ride sends the wrong message?
Then again, perhaps in his mind, he is a rockstar. After all any human who signs the baseball hat of an eager young bystander, only to toss it into the crowd, has grand ideals of himself.