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President Trump tours Westminster Abbey on first day of state visit

04 June 2019


President Donald Trump (centre) with the First Lady, Melania Trump, and the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd John Hall

President Donald Trump (centre) with the First Lady, Melania Trump, and the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd John Hall

PRESIDENT Donald Trump described Westminster Abbey as a “special place” after he visited it on Monday.

On the first day of his state visit to the UK, President Trump laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. He was accompanied by the First Lady, Melania Trump.

President Trump wrote in the Abbey’s distinguished visitors’ book: “Thank you so much. This has been a great honor. Special place.”

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd John Hall, escorted President Trump on a tour, alongside the Duke of York. The tour party were shown the graves of Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking, the High Altar and Coronation theatre, Henry VII’s Lady Chapel, and the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Dean Hall thanked God for the “peace and friendship” between the UK and the US.

In a prayer for the President and the Queen, he said: “Grant them as symbols of loyalty and unity for all their people; inspire their governments with vision, understanding and integrity, give to the nations’ legislatures and judiciaries wisdom and skill, imagination and energy.”

After the visit, Dean Hall told ITV News that the President had been “friendly” and that they had enjoyed a “good conversation”.

Dean Hall said: “He was very interested, very engaged. This year, we’re celebrating the 750th anniversary of the current building; so I think he was interested in the age.”

Previous US Presidents who have laid a wreath in the Abbey include Barack Obama in 2011, and George W. Bush in 2003.

Later on Monday, President Trump attended a state banquet for 170 guests at Buckingham Palace.

During her speech, the Queen said: “As we face the new challenges of the 21st century, the anniversary of D-day reminds us of all that our countries have achieved together. After the shared sacrifices of the Second World War, Britain and the United States worked with other allies to build an assembly of international institutions, to ensure the horrors of conflict would never be repeated.

“While the world has changed, we are forever mindful of the original purpose of these structures: nations working together to safeguard a hard-won peace.”

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