July 06, 2018
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle during the Trump visit to Britain next week, the prime minister's office confirmed Friday.
President Trump, Melania to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle during UK visit
Details of the meeting are scarce; the White House has not yet confirmed it. But U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson confirmed it to Sky News in June.
A sketchy outline of the Trump schedule was released by Ali Donnelly, a deputy spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May.
On Friday, July 13, following a bilateral meeting on foreign policy issues with May at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat, POTUS and FLOTUS "will then travel to Windsor Castle to meet The Queen," the statement said.
Since the meeting is taking place in the afternoon local time, it is likely there will be tea involved.
It's not a state occasion, complete with trumpets and tiaras and scarlet-clad soldiers marching to and fro; it's an audience with the British head of state at the 92-year-old monarch's beloved home where she spends most weekends.
But it's something, and it's something Trump wanted, according to Ambassador Johnson:
"Yes, yes, I mean he has to see the head of state," he told Sky News. "Putting his foot on British soil, it's job one, it's very important, very symbolic ... Meeting Her Majesty is the most important thing, because she's the head of state, and from then on, it'll be what the president wants to do."
Nor is it unusual for the American head of state to meet the British head of state in circumstances less formal than a state banquet. In April 2009, just months after taking office, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, met the queen at Buckingham Palace.
That meet-and-greet was slightly controversial because Mrs. Obama wore a skirt-and-cardigan outfit (too informal, sniffed some stuffy Brits) and because she briefly touched — horrors! — Her Majesty's royal back.
One never touches the queen, or any royal, etiquette nitpickers declared. Her Majesty, however, didn't seem to mind judging from her own hand on Mrs. Obama's back and her wide smile. And two years later, she hosted a state banquet for the Obamas at Buckingham Palace.
The Trumps' visit is being called a "working" visit, and will not include much time in London, where the president is widely disliked and protest demonstrations are expected. They arrive Thursday evening and will be hosted by May at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of the Spencer Churchill family and birthplace of Winston Churchill, located about two hours northwest of London.
Last year, former governor of Arkansas and the father of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, compared Trump to Churchill in a tweet, noting each was "hated by his own party" and "feared by King as reckless, and despised for his bluntness."
President Trump, Melania to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle during UK visit
While in London, The Trumps will overnight at Winfield House, the U.S. ambassador's residence. After meeting the queen, they will travel north to Scotland where they will spend the weekend. Trump, whose mother was a Scottish immigrant, owns two golf courses there and has feuded with local residents.
As for Melania Trump, her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told USA TODAY she may have solo engagements during the visit but the details have not yet been confirmed.
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