Earlier this afternoon, The Queen welcomed President Donald Trump to Windsor Castle, ending his working visit to the UK.
Flying in to the grounds of the 900-year-old residence on Marine One, Mr Trump came to Windsor after his press conference at Chequers with the Prime Minister, following a glittering dinner at Blenheim Palace last night.
The President and Mrs Trump were welcomed onto a dais to first meet The Queen, who is an old hand at meeting Heads of State, but it appears she was kept waiting as she was seen checking her watch. All three were smiling as they exchanged small talk ahead of tea.
Some have noted the lack of bow or curtsey from the couple, though this isn’t compulsory.
The national anthem and a Guard of Honour welcomed the American visitors into the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle, near Her Majesty’s private apartments. The Duke of Edinburgh did not attend the meeting, and instead The Queen was joined by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Andrew Ford, Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office.
President Trump then inspected the Coldstream Guards, which is Britain’s oldest regiment, with the Sovereign, but footage appears to show him walking ahead of the Monarch and attempting to walk off too early as a senior guard saluted him (video below).
The Queen has met 12 of the 13 American Presidents who have been in office during her reign; she never met Lyndon B. Johnson because he took over so suddenly after the assassination of JF Kennedy.
— ITV News (@itvnews) July 13, 2018
Protests have taken place today across the UK, including outside Windsor Castle for the President’s arrival, as well as a large inflatable ‘baby Trump’ blimp being flown over the capital.
In his interview with The Sun ahead of his arrival on Thursday, the President said of our Monarch: “She is a tremendous woman. I really look forward to meeting her. I think she represents her country so well.
“If you think of it, for so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake. You don’t see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman.
“My wife is a tremendous fan of hers. She has got a great and beautiful grace about her.”
It was then inside for tea, and the trio posed for a photo in the grand corridor; this is where Prince Philip recently had his portrait painted.
Tea was taken in the castle’s Oak Room, where in 2016 Elizabeth II hosted lunch for Barack and Michelle Obama; President Obama also came to the UK on a State Visit in 2011. The Monarch previously hosted George W. Bush at Windsor back in 2008; Bush’s visit also saw protests, as did Ronald Regan’s in 1982.
Mr Trump’s visit was downgraded from a State Visit to a working visit earlier this year, meaning he did not receive a ceremonial welcome, a carriage ride, state banquet or stay with Her Majesty.
Queen Elizabeth’s tea for the Trumps was due to last 25 minutes, according to the White House’s schedule, and it formed the last part of their official visit. No other members of the Royal Family were present at the tea.
We can almost certainly be sure The Queen was diplomatic in her conversation with Mr Trump, also being aware of his trigger-finger when it comes to Twitter and that any of their conversation might be made public. Topics might have included the pair’s shared love of Scotland and the history of the relationship between the UK and US.
Later today, Trump flies to his golf course in Scotland for the weekend, before heading to Helsinki for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.