According to a former head of the Foreign Office, Theresa May’s decision to invite Donald Trump to a state visit has put the Queen in a “very difficult position.”
Lord Ricketts claimed that the speed of the invitation “surprised” him.
Furthermore, a petition calling for the cancellation of the visit has gathered more than 1.6 million signatures. On the other hand, a rival pro-visit petition has only been signed by 70,000 people.
On Monday, thousands of people joined UK protests against Trump’s travel ban on seven mainly Muslim countries.
Lord Ricketts said it was unprecedented for a US president to be invited for a state visit in their first year in the White House.
He questioned whether Trump was “specially deserving of this exceptional honour” and said the invitation was “premature”.
“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.”
“Now the Queen is put in a very difficult position,” he explained.
Lord Ricketts stated that it would be wiser for the state visit to be postponed until later in his term and that Trump should instead be invited for an official visit this year, “centered mainly on political talks with the prime minister.”
He also added that the Queen would want to receive him in a “celebratory, warm, friendly visit”, but a state visit at the moment would seem “quite controversial.”
It would get the Queen directly involved with “this early turbulent period of the Trump presidency, when these controversial policies are being announced and so on,” he said.
“Most of us do not warm to Donald Trump or agree with the policies of his first 10 days,” continued Hague.
“We can still, however, believe that our government should be the one he is most likely to listen to, and that Americans of all persuasions are among our closest friends.”
“That means that when we ask the president to visit, we don’t rescind the invitation.”
Mrs May’s office said on Monday she was “very happy” to extend the invitation to Mr Trump on behalf of the Queen.
The prime minister has been under growing pressure to say whether or not she was briefed on the US travel restrictions when she met President Trump in Washington last week.