AS PRESIDENT Donald Trump gears up to visit the UK next month – amid speculation he could come even to Portsmouth to see the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth – we look back on his predecessors’ ties with our city.
Bill Clinton, 42nd US president (1993-2001)
In June 1994, president Bill Clinton came to Portsmouth for celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day.
Appearing in the city during his first visit to Britain since becoming president in January, 1993, he attended a memorial ceremony and met veterans and their families.
He also joined more than a dozen heads of state and Her Majesty the Queen for a banquet at Portsmouth Guildhall.
Images from the occasion show him saluting armed forces personnel as he disembarks from a vehicle in Guildhall Square – where hundreds of onlookers gathered in the rain to watch the history unfold, behind a strict row of security barriers.
As she led the lavish gathering, Her Majesty said the day’s commemoration services ‘brought the past into the present’, underlining hopes it could ‘also be an inspiration for the future.’
Mr Clinton served as the president until 2001.
Dwight Eisenhower, 34th US president (1953-1961)
On August 9, 1963, General Dwight Eisenhower visited the former HMS Dryad in Southwick.
While he did not arrive in the city as a serving president, General Eisenhower had completed his eight-year term just two years previously.
Like Clinton, he also enjoyed a visit to Portsmouth Guildhall – greeting crowds and shaking hands those who had come to see him – with security far more lax than it would be when Clinton appeared.
General Eisenhower served as the supreme allied commander in Europe from late 1943, until the end of the Second World War.
Barack Obama, 44th US president (2009-2017)
Finally, while he did not visit Portsmouth, Donald Trump’s immediate predecessor Barack Obama was invited to the city.
As part of a campaign led by Portsmouth City Council’s then seafront manager, David Evans, it was hoped Mr Obama would join US veterans for a D-Day ceremony in 2014, before heading to Normandy on a US warship for the landings’ anniversary on June 6.
It was now-Portsmouth City Council leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who sent a physical invitation to the White House, after first informing Number 10 and Buckingham Palace.
While Mr Obama never did come to Portsmouth, an advisor of his visited in May, 2014, to meet local businesses.