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State visits are formal visits to the UK by Heads of State from overseas, with the aim of strengthening relationships. There are usually two state visits to the UK each year. The Queen has hosted 109 state visits, from King Gustaf VI Adolf and Queen Louise of Sweden in 1954 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife Maria in November 2016. The full list of state visits during the Queen’s reign is available on the royal website.

Two US Presidents have made state visits during the Queen’s reign, Barack Obama (2011) and George W Bush (2003). Each of them was in the third year of his first term at the time of the visit. The most frequent state visits have been from France (5), and Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Mexico (4 each). Most other countries have had either one or two state visits.

The invitation to Mr Trump to make a state visit to the UK was conveyed by Prime Minister Theresa May during her trip to Washington in late January 2017. A potential visit was reported in November 2016, and was flighted in terms of building the so-called “special relationship.” The invitation is for a visit this year, and July has been mooted as a likely date, although no official date has yet been announced.

The invitation to Mr Trump has become controversial, especially given his announcement almost immediately after Mrs May’s visit of an executive order halting the US refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely banning Syrian refugees and barring entry to the USA to nationals of seven Muslim-majority states for 90 days. That policy has been suspended as a result of legal action, although the administration is seeking to reverse that position.

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