President Trump may have got his facts wrong on the new U.S. Embassy to the Court of St. James (aka the United Kingdom), but it's a shame that he is no longer traveling to open the facility next month.
It seems clear that the White House and Downing Street were worried about the prospect of mass protests, but those concerns could have been mitigated. It's true that the British don't take the security of their top leaders that seriously, but they do pull out all the stops when it comes to U.S. presidential visits.
At a basic level, Trump's route to the embassy and back to wherever he was staying could have been secured with relative ease. Indeed, in the worse case, the president could have been flown by Marine One between all his various stops. Aside from those protesters who can fly, the ability to disrupt the president's visit would have been extremely limited.
More importantly, the embassy opening offered Trump the opportunity to make a big statement in a way that is wholly positive for the U.S.-U.K. special relationship. Considering the cooperation between the British and U.S. militaries and intelligence services, Trump's trip would have been welcomed by the most important elements of the U.K. establishment.
Trump could also have insulted Jeremy Corbyn, which would have been extremely amusing.
By canceling the visit, however, Trump looks weak and petulant. It's a shame.