President Will Avoid 'Baby Trump' Blimp, London Protests During U.K. Visit

President Donald Trump is scheduled to skip over most of London, which approved an unflattering orange “Baby Trump” blimp to fly over the Houses of Parliament to greet him, during his trip to the United Kingdom next week.

Trump will only stay overnight in London when he arrives next Thursday, at the U.S. ambassador’s home. His meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II will take place outside of the capital, the Guardian reported on Friday.

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Conversations with May are slated to take place next Friday at her retreat in Chequers country in Buckinghamshire, and Trump will meet the Queen at Windsor Castle. A gala dinner Trump will attend upon arrival into the U.K. will be held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

Trump’s avoidance of London sparked speculation that he is trying to avoid protesters on Downing Street. But officials denied that.

“No, the president is not avoiding anything,” U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson said during a press conference, adding that London will be the base. “The president is merely trying to get as impactful a trip as he can get in a 24-hour period.”

A spokesperson for May said it was not unusual for the discussions to be set in places that protesters won’t be able to descend on.

“Prime ministers frequently make use of Chequers for meetings with foreign leaders,” she told the Guardian. “It offers a more informal setting for important bilateral discussions. We’re looking forward to making sure the president has a chance to see and experience the U.K. beyond London and the south-east.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan approved a 6-meter-tall “Trump baby” blimp depicting an angry American president wearing a diaper on Thursday, for Trump’s arrival next Friday. The giant balloon was organized by anti-fascist activists who raised more than $21,000 in a crowdfunding campaign.

“The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms,” a spokesperson for Khan said. "His city operations team have met with the organizers and have given them permission to use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp.”

Johnson said he and officials are “all aware of” the blimp and that the president is focusing on his goals for the trip and “appreciates free speech, both in this country and in our country.”

May’s spokeswoman deferred to the Greater London Authority to detail why the blimp was approved.

“From our perspective, the presidential visit is an important moment to recognize our close and special relationship and to have open and frank discussions on the key issues,” she said.

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