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Britain's King Charles III welcomes the visiting Japanese emperor and empress

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Britain's King Charles III welcomes the visiting  Japanese emperor and empress
News

News

Britain's King Charles III welcomes the visiting Japanese emperor and empress

2024-06-26 13:20 Last Updated At:13:31

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III welcomed the Japanese emperor and empress for a state visit that began on Tuesday, offering the best in pomp and circumstance as the U.K. seeks to bolster its role as the most influential European nation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress of Masako are to attend a banquet hosted by the king, lay a wreath at Westminster Abbey and tour one of Britain’s premier biomedical research institutes. But the emperor began this week’s trip by visiting a site that has special meaning: The Thames Barrier.

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Britain's King Charles III, Japan's Emperor Naruhito, Britain's Queen Camilla and Japan's Empress Masako view a display of Japanese items from the Royal Collection, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to Britain. The Japanese royal couple arrived in Britain for a three-day state visit hosted by King Charles III. (Henry Nicholls/pool photo via AP)

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III welcomed the Japanese emperor and empress for a state visit that began on Tuesday, offering the best in pomp and circumstance as the U.K. seeks to bolster its role as the most influential European nation in the Indo-Pacific region.

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Britain's Prince William, right, sits by Hirofumi Nakasone, the Japan party's head of the official suite, as they arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Prince William, right, sits by Hirofumi Nakasone, the Japan party's head of the official suite, as they arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Guests attend the State Banquet for Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

Guests attend the State Banquet for Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, Emperor Naruhito, left, Empress Masako and Queen Camilla, right, make their way along the East Gallery to attend the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, Emperor Naruhito, left, Empress Masako and Queen Camilla, right, make their way along the East Gallery to attend the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)

Britain's King Charles III walks with Japan's Emperor Naruhito, followed by Britain's Queen Camilla and Japan's Empress Masako as they view a display of Japanese items from the Royal Collection, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to Britain. The Japanese royal couple arrived in Britain for a three-day state visit hosted by King Charles III. (Henry Nicholls/pool photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III walks with Japan's Emperor Naruhito, followed by Britain's Queen Camilla and Japan's Empress Masako as they view a display of Japanese items from the Royal Collection, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to Britain. The Japanese royal couple arrived in Britain for a three-day state visit hosted by King Charles III. (Henry Nicholls/pool photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they ride down the Mall scorted by mounted troops during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they ride down the Mall scorted by mounted troops during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain's King Charles III, right with Japans Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and Queen Camilla pose for the cameras ahead of the State Banquet during the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

Britain's King Charles III, right with Japans Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and Queen Camilla pose for the cameras ahead of the State Banquet during the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Japan's Emperor Naruhito toast glasses at the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Japan's Emperor Naruhito toast glasses at the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

Japans Emperor Naruhito arrives by car for the ceremonial welcome by King Charles III at the start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito arrives by car for the ceremonial welcome by King Charles III at the start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Britain's King Charles III, left, and Emperor Naruhito of Japan arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, left, and Emperor Naruhito of Japan arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Queen Camilla, left,and Japan's Empress Masako, ride in an open carriage during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Queen Camilla, left,and Japan's Empress Masako, ride in an open carriage during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Japan's Empress Masako, arrives by car to attend the ceremonial start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, of a state visit. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japan's Empress Masako, arrives by car to attend the ceremonial start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, of a state visit. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

From left, Japan's Empress Masako, Britain's Queen Camilla, Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito pose for a family photo at the ceremonial welcome for their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.(Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

From left, Japan's Empress Masako, Britain's Queen Camilla, Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito pose for a family photo at the ceremonial welcome for their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.(Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito ride a carriage during a welcome ceremony for Naruhito's state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Eddie Mulholland/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito ride a carriage during a welcome ceremony for Naruhito's state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Eddie Mulholland/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they arrive at Buckingham palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they arrive at Buckingham palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Japan's Empress Masako, accompanied by Britain's Queen Camilla, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Japan's Empress Masako, accompanied by Britain's Queen Camilla, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by Britain's King Charles, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by Britain's King Charles, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Emperor Naruhito during the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade, London, for the state visit to the UK of the Emperor and his wife Empress Masako, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Jeff Moore/PA via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Emperor Naruhito during the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade, London, for the state visit to the UK of the Emperor and his wife Empress Masako, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Jeff Moore/PA via AP)

Japans Emperor Naruhito, left, and Britain's King Charles III walk back from inspecting the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito, left, and Britain's King Charles III walk back from inspecting the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Emperor Naruhito of Japan inspects the Guard of Honour formed of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards during a ceremonial welcome for him and Empress Masako on the occasion of their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

Emperor Naruhito of Japan inspects the Guard of Honour formed of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards during a ceremonial welcome for him and Empress Masako on the occasion of their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

The retractable flood control gates on the River Thames seemed a natural destination for a royal long interested in the waterway that runs through the heart of London. Naruhito studied 18th-century commerce on the river as a graduate student at the University of Oxford some 40 years ago.

He chronicled the interest in his memoir “The Thames and I,” together with his fondness for Britain and its people. The future emperor got a chance to experience life outside the palace walls, including doing his own ironing, going to the bank and taking part in pub crawls.

Tuesday's ceremonial welcome seemed warm. Charles and Naruhito, who have known each other for years, settled into the back of a carriage and chatted like old chums.

Masako wore a mask in her carriage because of a horse hair allergy.

Both countries look to each other as a source of stability and mutual reassurance at a time of potentially destabilizing global political change.

“We’ve had a long history of engagement,'' said John Nilsson-Wright, the head of the Japan and Koreas program at the Centre for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge. “But ... this current visit (is) a reflection of both the personal ties of affection between the two royal families (and) perhaps most importantly of all, the geopolitical significance of the relationship.”

Britain's King Charles III, Japan's Emperor Naruhito, Britain's Queen Camilla and Japan's Empress Masako view a display of Japanese items from the Royal Collection, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to Britain. The Japanese royal couple arrived in Britain for a three-day state visit hosted by King Charles III. (Henry Nicholls/pool photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, Japan's Emperor Naruhito, Britain's Queen Camilla and Japan's Empress Masako view a display of Japanese items from the Royal Collection, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to Britain. The Japanese royal couple arrived in Britain for a three-day state visit hosted by King Charles III. (Henry Nicholls/pool photo via AP)

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Britain's Prince William, right, sits by Hirofumi Nakasone, the Japan party's head of the official suite, as they arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Prince William, right, sits by Hirofumi Nakasone, the Japan party's head of the official suite, as they arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Guests attend the State Banquet for Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

Guests attend the State Banquet for Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

The finishing touches are applied to the tables in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, before the State Banquet for the State Visit by Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako of Japan, in London, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, Emperor Naruhito, left, Empress Masako and Queen Camilla, right, make their way along the East Gallery to attend the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, Emperor Naruhito, left, Empress Masako and Queen Camilla, right, make their way along the East Gallery to attend the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)

Britain's King Charles III walks with Japan's Emperor Naruhito, followed by Britain's Queen Camilla and Japan's Empress Masako as they view a display of Japanese items from the Royal Collection, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to Britain. The Japanese royal couple arrived in Britain for a three-day state visit hosted by King Charles III. (Henry Nicholls/pool photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III walks with Japan's Emperor Naruhito, followed by Britain's Queen Camilla and Japan's Empress Masako as they view a display of Japanese items from the Royal Collection, in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to Britain. The Japanese royal couple arrived in Britain for a three-day state visit hosted by King Charles III. (Henry Nicholls/pool photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they ride down the Mall scorted by mounted troops during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they ride down the Mall scorted by mounted troops during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain's King Charles III, right with Japans Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and Queen Camilla pose for the cameras ahead of the State Banquet during the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

Britain's King Charles III, right with Japans Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and Queen Camilla pose for the cameras ahead of the State Banquet during the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Japan's Emperor Naruhito toast glasses at the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Japan's Emperor Naruhito toast glasses at the State Banquet in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, during the State Visit of the Japanese Emperor and Empress to Britain. (Jordan Pettitt/Pool via AP)

Japans Emperor Naruhito arrives by car for the ceremonial welcome by King Charles III at the start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito arrives by car for the ceremonial welcome by King Charles III at the start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Britain's King Charles III, left, and Emperor Naruhito of Japan arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, left, and Emperor Naruhito of Japan arrive at Buckingham Palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Queen Camilla, left,and Japan's Empress Masako, ride in an open carriage during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Queen Camilla, left,and Japan's Empress Masako, ride in an open carriage during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain of the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Jonathan Brady, Pool Photo via AP)

Japan's Empress Masako, arrives by car to attend the ceremonial start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, of a state visit. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japan's Empress Masako, arrives by car to attend the ceremonial start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, of a state visit. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito inspects the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

From left, Japan's Empress Masako, Britain's Queen Camilla, Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito pose for a family photo at the ceremonial welcome for their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.(Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

From left, Japan's Empress Masako, Britain's Queen Camilla, Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito pose for a family photo at the ceremonial welcome for their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.(Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito ride a carriage during a welcome ceremony for Naruhito's state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Eddie Mulholland/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japan's Emperor Naruhito ride a carriage during a welcome ceremony for Naruhito's state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Eddie Mulholland/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they arrive at Buckingham palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain's King Charles III and Japans Emperor Naruhito ride in an open carriage as they arrive at Buckingham palace during the ceremonial welcome for the State Visit to Britain by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Japan's Empress Masako, accompanied by Britain's Queen Camilla, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Japan's Empress Masako, accompanied by Britain's Queen Camilla, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by Britain's King Charles, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by Britain's King Charles, rides in a carriage on the day of a state visit, in London, Britain, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Isabel Infantes/Pool photo via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Emperor Naruhito during the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade, London, for the state visit to the UK of the Emperor and his wife Empress Masako, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Jeff Moore/PA via AP)

Britain's King Charles III, right, and Emperor Naruhito during the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade, London, for the state visit to the UK of the Emperor and his wife Empress Masako, Tuesday June 25, 2024. (Jeff Moore/PA via AP)

Japans Emperor Naruhito, left, and Britain's King Charles III walk back from inspecting the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Japans Emperor Naruhito, left, and Britain's King Charles III walk back from inspecting the honour guard on Horse Guards parade during the ceremonial welcome for start of the State Visit to Britain by the Emperor and Empress in London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Emperor Naruhito of Japan inspects the Guard of Honour formed of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards during a ceremonial welcome for him and Empress Masako on the occasion of their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

Emperor Naruhito of Japan inspects the Guard of Honour formed of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards during a ceremonial welcome for him and Empress Masako on the occasion of their state visit to Britain, at Horse Guards Parade, London, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump was the target of an apparent assassination attempt Saturday at a Pennsylvania rally, days before he was to accept the Republican nomination for a third time. A barrage of gunfire set off panic, and a bloodied Trump, who said he was shot in the ear, was surrounded by Secret Service and hurried to his SUV as he pumped his fist in a show of defiance.

Trump’s campaign said the presumptive GOP nominee was doing “fine” after the shooting, which he said pierced the upper part of his right ear.

“I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place,” he wrote on his social media site.

At least one attendee was dead and two spectators were critically injured, authorities said. The Secret Service said it killed the suspected shooter — who it said attacked from an elevated position outside the rally venue, a farm show in Butler, Pennsylvania — and that Trump was safe.

The FBI said during a press conference late Saturday that they were not prepared to release the identity of the shooter and had not yet identified a motive for the assassination attempt.

The attack was the most serious attempt to assassinate a president or presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. It drew new attention to concerns about political violence in a deeply polarized U.S. less than four months before the presidential election. And it could alter the tenor and security posture at the Republican National Convention, which will begin on Monday in Milwaukee.

Trump's campaign said the convention would proceed as planned.

President Joe Biden, who is running against Trump, was briefed on the incident and spoke to Trump several hours after the shooting, the White House said.

“There’s no place in America for this type of violence,” the president said in public remarks. “It’s sick. It’s sick.”

Biden planned to return to Washington early, cutting short a weekend at his beach home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Many Republicans quickly blamed the violence on Biden and his allies, arguing that sustained attacks on Trump as a threat to democracy have created a toxic environment. They pointed in particular to a comment Biden made to donors on July 8, saying “it’s time to put Trump in the bullseye.”

In the coming days, much of the focus will shift to the shooter and security lapses. The shooter was not an attendee at the rally and was killed by U.S. Secret Service agents, according to two officials who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

The officials said the shooter was engaged by members of the U.S. Secret Service counterassault team. The heavily armed tactical team travels everywhere with the president and major party nominees and is meant to confront any active threats while other agents focus on safeguarding and evacuating the person at the center of protection.

Law enforcement recovered an AR-style rifle at the scene, according to a third person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

An AP analysis of more than a dozen videos and photos from the scene of the Trump rally, as well as satellite imagery of the site, shows the shooter was able to get astonishingly close to the stage where the former president was speaking. A video posted to social media and geolocated by the AP shows the body of a person wearing gray camouflage lying motionless on the roof of a building at AGR International Inc., a manufacturing plant just north of the Butler Farm Show grounds where Trump’s rally was held.

The roof where the person lay was less than 150 meters (164 yards) from where Trump was speaking, a distance from which a decent marksman could reasonably hit a human-sized target. For reference, 150 meters is a distance at which U.S. Army recruits must hit a scaled human-sized silhouette to qualify with the M-16 rifle. The AR-15, like the shooter at the Trump rally had, is the semi-automatic civilian version of the military M-16.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whose department oversees the Secret Service, said officials were engaged with the Biden and Trump campaigns and “taking every possible measure to ensure their safety and security.”

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when the apparent shots began just after 6:10 p.m. It took two minutes from the moment of the first shot for Trump to be placed in a waiting SUV.

As Trump was talking, a popping sound was heard, and the former president put his right hand up to his right ear, as people in the stands behind him appeared to be shocked.

As the first pop rang out, Trump said, “Oh,” and grabbed his ear as two more pops could be heard and he crouched down. More shots were heard then.

Someone could be heard saying near the microphone at Trump’s lectern, “Get down, get down, get down, get down!” as agents tackled the former president. They piled atop him to shield him with their bodies, as is their training protocol, as other agents took up positions on stage to search for the threat.

Screams were heard in the crowd of several thousand people. A woman screamed louder than the rest. Afterward, voices were heard saying “shooter’s down” several times, before someone asked “are we good to move?” and “are we clear?” Then, someone ordered, “Let’s move.”

Trump could be heard on the video saying at least twice, “Let me get my shoes, let me get my shoes,” with another voice heard saying, “I’ve got you sir.”

Trump got to his feet moments later and could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his face. There appeared to be blood on his face. He then pumped his fist in the air and appeared to mouth the word “Fight” twice his crowd of supporters, prompting loud cheers and then chants of “USA. USA. USA.”

The crowd cheered as he got back up and pumped his fist.

His motorcade left the venue moments later. Video showed Trump turning back to the crowd and raising a fist right before he was put into a vehicle.

“Everybody went to their knees or their prone position, because we all knew, everyone becoming aware of the fact this was gunfire,” said Dave McCormick, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, who was sitting to Trump's right on stage.

As he saw Trump raise his fist, McCormick said, he looked over his shoulder and noticed someone had been hit while sitting in the bleachers behind the stage.

Eventually, first responders were able to carry the injured person out of a large crowd so he could get medical care, McCormick said.

Reporters covering the rally heard five or six shots ring out and many ducked for cover, hiding under tables. After the first two or three bangs, people in the crowd looked startled, but not panicked. An AP reporter at the scene reported the noise sounded like firecrackers at first or perhaps a car backfiring.

When it was clear the situation had been contained and that Trump would not be returning to speak, attendees started filing out of the venue. One man in an electric wheelchair got stuck on the field when his chair’s battery died. Others tried to help him move.

Police soon told the people remaining to leave the venue and Secret Service agents told reporters to get “out now. This is a live crime scene.”

Two firefighters from nearby Steubenville, Ohio, who were at the rally told the AP that they helped people who appeared injured and heard bullets hitting broadcast speakers.

“The bullets rattled around the grandstand, one hit the speaker tower and then chaos broke. We hit the ground and then the police converged into the grandstands, said Chris Takach.

“The first thing I heard is a couple of cracks,” Dave Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he saw one of the speakers get hit and bullets rattling and, “we hit the deck.”

He said once Secret Service and other authorities converged on Trump, he and Takach assisted two people who may have been shot in the grandstand and cleared a path to get them out of the way.

“Just a sad day for America,” Sullivan said.

“After we heard the shots got fired, then the hydraulic line was spraying all around, you could see the hydraulic fluid coming out of it. And then the speaker tower started to fall down,” Sullivan said. “Then we heard another shot that, you could hear, you knew something was, it was bullets. It wasn’t firecrackers.”

The perils of campaigning took on a new urgency after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in California in 1968, and again in 1972 when Arthur Bremer shot and seriously hurt George Wallace, who was running as an independent on a campaign platform that has sometimes been compared to Trump’s. That led to increased protection of candidates, even as the threats persisted, notably against Jesse Jackson in 1988 and Barack Obama in 2008.

Presidents, particularly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, have even greater layers of security. Trump is a rarity as both a former president and a current candidate.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. JD Vance, the three men on Trump’s shortlist for vice president, all quickly sent out statements expressing concern for the former president, with Rubio sharing an image taken as Trump was escorted off stage with his fist in the air and a streak of blood on his face along with the words “God protected President Trump.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said in a statement on X that he had been briefed on the situation and Pennsylvania state police were on hand at the rally site.

“Violence targeted at any political party or political leader is absolutely unacceptable. It has no place in Pennsylvania or the United States,” he said.

Colvin, Balsamo and Price reported from New York. Long reported from Washington. Tucker reported from Westport, Connecticut. Associated Press writers Michael Biesecker and Alanna Durkin Richer in Washington, Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Will Weissert in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, contributed to this report.

The White House is seen Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The White House is seen Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Del., Saturday, July 13, 2024. President Biden is returning to Washington earlier than planned following the attack at the Trump rally in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Del., Saturday, July 13, 2024. President Biden is returning to Washington earlier than planned following the attack at the Trump rally in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

U.S. Secret Service agents respond as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded on stage by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Secret Service agents respond as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded on stage by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Law enforcement officers gather at the campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Law enforcement officers gather at the campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

People take cover as U.S. Secret Service agents surround Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump on stage at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

People take cover as U.S. Secret Service agents surround Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump on stage at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla. Trump will have one last chance Saturday, July 13, to dramatically unveil his vice presidential pick on a rally stage before the Republican National Convention kicks off in Milwaukee next week. Trump's rally in western Pennsylvania, at the Butler Farm Show just outside Pittsburgh, comes as the former reality TV star and tabloid hound continues to tease his pick, working to drum up maximum attention. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla. Trump will have one last chance Saturday, July 13, to dramatically unveil his vice presidential pick on a rally stage before the Republican National Convention kicks off in Milwaukee next week. Trump's rally in western Pennsylvania, at the Butler Farm Show just outside Pittsburgh, comes as the former reality TV star and tabloid hound continues to tease his pick, working to drum up maximum attention. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

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