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Trump's Unique Demand for October Trip Has British Authorities Worried

The White House has made clear it regards the carriage procession as an essential element of the itinerary for President Trump's visit currently planned for the second week of October, The Sunday Times reported, citing officials.

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Updated:April 17, 2017, 8:08 AM IST
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Trump's Unique Demand for October Trip Has British Authorities Worried
File Photo of Queen Elizabeth II's Gold State Coach. (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
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London: This unique request by US President Donald Trump has reportedly thrown British security forces into a tizzy — he wants to ride in the Queen's gold-plated royal carriage when he travels to London on a state visit.

The White House has made clear that it regards the carriage procession as an essential element of the itinerary for President Trump's visit currently planned for the second week of October, The Sunday Times reported.

Security officials, though, have warned that the carriage journey down The Mall to Buckingham Palace will require a "monster" security operation, far greater than for any recent state visit, PTI quoted the paper as saying.

The Metropolitan Police was already facing a challenge in ensuring the safety of the controversial president as tens of thousands of people are expected to protest his visit.

The carriage "would not be able to put up much resistance in the face of a rocket propelled grenade or high-powered ammunition," the paper quoted one security source as saying.

Citing the source, the paper said that this recent demand has only served to increase complexity of the arrangement.

"The vehicle which carries the president of the United States is a spectacular vehicle. It is designed to withstand a massive attack like a low-level rocket grenade.

"If he's in that vehicle he is incredibly well protected and on top of that it can travel at enormous speed. If he is in a golden coach being dragged up the Mall by a couple of horses, the risk factor is dramatically increased," the source said.

Trump's predecessor former president Barack Obama had travelled in an armoured, bullet-proof car to meet the Queen during his visit to the UK in 2011.

World leaders have been treated to the traditional Horse Guards welcoming parade in which the Queen's carriage is drawn down The Mall to Buckingham Palace by six white horses.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have also taken such carriage rides during state visits.

(With PTI inputs)



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