According to reports, Donald Trump is insisting on riding in Queen Elizabeth II’s royal carriage during his official trip to the U.K. later this year.
The White House has made clear it regards the carriage procession down the Mall as an essential element of the itinerary for the visit currently planned for the second week of October, according to officials.”
even without the carriage ride the security demands for Trump’s visit will dwarf those needed by other recent state visits.
“The vehicle which carries the president of the United States [during any state visit] is a spectacular vehicle,” the source told the The Times.
“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.
“There may well be protections in that coach such as bulletproof glass, but they are limited. In particularly it is very flimsy.”
While it is customary for visiting heads of state to have a formal procession from the Horse Guards Parade area to Buckingham Palace, not all have traveled in a carriage which is considered to be a less secure option, according to the Huffington Post.
For instance, in 2011, former President Obama arrived at the Palace in a highly fortified vehicle.
And two years ago, China’s leader Xi Jinping elected to be taken in a closed carriage for security purposes while Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, in a separate visit, did ride in the Queen’s golden carriage.