UK steps up to keep Donald Trump's state visit free from stairs

With rumours flying round that the US President has a fear of steps, reports say events will be held on ground floors

UK steps up to keep Donald Trump's state visit free from stairs

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he walks down the steps of Air Force One at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Tuesday, April 18, 2017 [Susan Walsh/AP/Press Association Images]

British officials working on the plan for Donald Trump’s visit to England are reportedly amending venue locations in order to keep him away from steps amid rumours he has bathmophobia, a fear of stairs or slopes.

Meetings between Trump and the triumphant party leader after the UK’s snap election will now be held on ground floors, with The Sunday Times claiming that step-free routes have been planned. However, when the POTUS meets Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, he will have to face his fears.

“I’ve heard this discussed in meetings about the state visit,” an unnamed official is quoted has having said.

“Trump won’t be able to avoid the stairs at the Palace but they can plan things to minimise it.”

Alleged bathmophobia is not the only fear that plays against Trump’s distaste for flights of stairs; the self-identifying germaphobe is also not a fan of placing his hands on bannisters while he navigates steps, according to aides.

Rumours that Donald Trump is afraid of steep inclines have long circulated online, with CNN even investigating the story in March. Photographs of Donald Trump holding Theresa May’s hand while walking in the White House were linked to his supposed phobia, though the official White House position is that the rumours are “absurd.”

The US President was invited to visit the UK by the British Prime Minister when she appeared at the White House in January. A date for the visit has not been announced, but with the Spanish King and Queen visit posted till after the general election, it is now expected that Donald Trump will arrive in the UK in October.

In February, reports emerged that those responsible for planning his visit were also intended to keep official events outside of London in order to minimise the potential for wide-scale protests in the British capital. The news, which came after 1.8m people signed a petition demanding the invitation be revoked, was widely panned by critics, saying the President won’t be able to escape the “biggest protest in British history.”

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