US President Donald Trump visits Oxfordshire amid hundreds of protesters

The VIP treatment was given as US President Donald Trump visited Oxfordshire at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace yesterday (Thursday, July 12), greeted by hundreds of protesters.

Mr Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived by helicopter at around 7.30pm out of sight of the protesters, while the evening's host, Prime Minister Theresa May, slipped through a back entrance.

But most of the other guests, including Cabinet ministers, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth, Witney MP Robert Courts, business leaders and the coach-loads of journalists were forced to use the main gate on the A44 Oxford Road, which was surrounded by noisy protesters.

At the prime minister's country retreat, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, today (Friday), Mr Trump did not acknowledge the protest but said it was a very productive dinner with Mrs May.

"We had a dinner where I think we've probably never developed a better relationship, we spoke for an hour, an hour and a half, and it was really something," he said.

Mrs May and her husband Philip greeted the Trumps on the steps of the palace's Great Court as they arrived in the presidential armoured limousine having travelled by helicopter from the US Ambassador's residence in London.

Protesters outside Blenheim Palace over Donald Trump's visit

Protesters outside Blenheim Palace over Donald Trump's visit

The Trumps and the 150 other guests watched a military ceremony performed by the bands of the Scots, Irish and Welsh guards before heading inside for dinner.

The guests had to wait as Mr Trump and the prime minister were given a tour of the palace including the Winston Churchill exhibition, whom the president is said to admire.

Once they had finished, smoked salmon with a hollandaise sauce and beetroot salad was for starters, before Hereford beef and roasted vegetables for mains and strawberry jelly, clotted cream and vanilla shortbread for dessert.

Cllr Hudspeth said the event benefitted the area as it showed Woodstock and Oxfordshire 'at its best' and the president should be respected as a democratically-elected official.

A group of Trump lookalikes joined the protests - this one said it is a 'beautiful wall'

A group of Trump lookalikes joined the protests - this one said it is a 'beautiful wall'

Among the demonstration were people from across the country as well as locals, including members of the Labour Party and Oxford Stand Up To Racism.

County council deputy opposition leader Cllr Laura Price said: "It's great to see the whole Oxfordshire community come together and sending that message out of 'hope Trumps hate'."

The Labour councillor for Witney South and Central said the huge turnout shows that Oxfordshire is no more accepting of Mr Trump's politics or attitudes than London.

Cllr Andrew Coles, who represents Witney South at West Oxfordshire District Council, said people feel embarrassed by the president's visit.

An anti-Trump placard outside Blenheim Palace

An anti-Trump placard outside Blenheim Palace

The protesters chanted against the controversial president, cheered motorists who honked as they went past and booed suspected guests to the black-tie dinner at the Woodstock stately home from around 4-8pm.

Around 300 police officers from across the UK were drafted in to supervise the protest including the mounted section and riot vans.

A minor rescue operation was needed to bring one of the protesters down from a plinth next to the palace gates, and some had to move protesting cyclists out of the way of vehicles, but otherwise it was a peaceful atmosphere.

The Hommel family came from Yarnton to join the demonstration as father Peter said he and his wife Bronia wanted to show their children Ed and Roo that you should stand up against things you disagree with.

"For me, he stands for everything that I dislike about humanity and the way people can behave with each other," he said, holding his 'Trump Stinks' placard.

"He sums that up for me in a way I don't think many other people manage to do and I think that's why so many people have come out."

A band added to the atmosphere

A band added to the atmosphere

The protesters decided to march around Woodstock town centre at 8pm before the crowds dispersed.

For a gallery of pictures from the protest, click here.

In pictures: Huge anti-Trump protest outside Blenheim Palace

Even pets were included in the protest

Even pets were included in the protest