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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania touch down at Stansted Airport

American president Donald Trump touched down at Stansted Airport, along with nine other international heads of state, for this week's NATO summit in Herts.

The 73-year-old flew straight into the kind of controversy which has become par for the course in the UK on his two previous visits.

This time he arrived after dark, landing in Air Force One, a highly-customised Boeing VC-25 aircraft.

President Trump arrives at Stansted Airport (23235286)
President Trump arrives at Stansted Airport (23235286)

Just after 9.45pm on Monday, (December 2), he made his way down the steps to the runway apron on Stansted's northside, which is home to a number of private jet centres accustomed to providing security and privacy for VIP passengers.

Wearing skyscraper stilettos and a Republican red trenchcoat, the first lady, gripped the handrail of the steps tightly and gripped her husband's hand as the pair made their way to the bottom where US ambassador Robert 'Woody' Johnson, owner of the New York Jets American football team, was waiting to welcome them.

The couple were also greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst, David Pearey, Foreign Office representative and Stansted's Airport's operations director, Nick Millar.

President Trump arrives at Stansted Airport (23235281)
President Trump arrives at Stansted Airport (23235281)

Usually, the president flies on to the capital in a Marine One, a Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King helicopter known as Marine One when he is on board, alongside at least one decoy with an escort of Chinook choppers.

However, after concerns about bad weather, the couple climbed into the Beast, a £1.2m £1.2m, eight-tonne customised Cadillac capable of withstanding a direct rocket or chemical warfare attack.

They and their entourage swept up the M11 in an impressive motorcade flanked by police outriders. Tight security always surrounds the president. As well as his own United States Secret Service detail, officers from Essex and the Metropolitan police provide protection for his arrival and departure at Stansted.

Mr Trump's three-day state visit in June, which involved more than 6,300 officers, racked up a bill of £3.4m, while his four-day visit in 2018 cost more than £14m.

Both previous trips prompted protests in London and this evening (Tuesday) a demonstration in support of the NHS is expected when Mr Trump and other world leaders attend a reception with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

President Trump arrives at Stansted Airport (23235244)
President Trump arrives at Stansted Airport (23235244)

The other politicians heading for the NATO summit, at The Grove Hotel at Chandlers Cross near Watford in Herts, who touched down at Stansted include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

They were joined by leaders from Slovenia, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania and Turkey.

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