When U.S. President Donald Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House last week their "special relationship" raised many eyebrows. But now that May has invited Trump to the U.K. for a formal state visit people are speaking out.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk along The Colonnade of the West Wing at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
An online petition calling for a cancellation of the trip has surpassed 1.7 million signatures, posing a predicament for the Queen.
"It would have been far wiser to wait to see what sort of president he would turn out to be before advising the Queen to invite him," Lord Ricketts, the former head of the Foreign Office, said in a letter to The Times. "Now the Queen is put in a very difficult position."
Since his inauguration anti-Trump protests have been popping up around the world. In the past week 10 Downing Street — the official residence of the British Prime Minister— was flooded with thousands of protestors demanding no state visit in light of the president's controversial travel ban.
Protestors take to the streets to show that they do not support American President Donald Trump following his controversial Muslim ban.
According to representatives for May the invitation was made on behalf of the Queen: "To be clear, the Prime Minister extended an invitation on behalf of the Queen — and she was very happy to do so. The USA is one of this country's closest allies, and we look forward to hosting the president later this year."
While Buckingham Palace has remained quiet on the matter, Ricketts notes the Queen makes her decisions based on the advice of the government, which includes the Prime Minister.
Theresa May meets the Queen after being sworn in as Prime Minister.
Though no date has been set for the visit, a spokesperson for May says it is months away. An official state visit is a lavish affair with luxe banquets and red carpets.
During their eight years in power former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan did not make a state visit to the U.K. and Barack Obama didn't receive a state visit until 28 months into his presidency, Sky News reports.