Queen Elizabeth and President Donald Trump have finally met.
After more than a year of back-and-forth about whether he would be heading to the U.K. for an official visit, the president — along with First Lady Melania Trump — met the Queen at Windsor Castle on Friday. The castle was recently the site of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s royal wedding. (The royal couple didn’t extend an invitation to Trump — or any politician — for their May 19 nuptials.)
The Trumps were welcomed at the Quadrangle of the castle, where a Guard of Honor gave a royal salute and the U.S. national anthem was played. The Queen and President Trump inspected the Guard of Honor before watching the military march past. The president and first lady then joined the Queen inside the castle for afternoon tea.
Protesters marched through the streets of London — about 20 miles from Windsor Castle — against Trump’s U.K. visit on Friday. Tens of thousands of British people took to the streets of central London to protest President Trump in what was dubbed a “The Stop Trump March.”
Carrying signs that read “Trump Not Welcome” and “Dump Trump,” the crowd made it clear that not everyone in the U.K. supported the country’s diplomacy.
At the same moment Trump was walking into Windsor Castle, news from back home threatened to overshadow the royal meeting he had long coveted. Cable news stations aired split-screen coverage of Trump’s tea alongside a Justice Department press conference in Washington announcing the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials charged with hacking into the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s meeting with the Queen is not a full-blown state visit, complete with the pomp and ceremony of a Buckingham Palace meeting and military welcome. Rather, Trump is in the U.K. for a working visit this week.
The invitation to the U.K. for a state visit – which was made and accepted shortly after his inauguration in January 2017 — still stands. But it has been put on hold amid the threat of protests and a petition saying he shouldn’t be afforded the privilege of a full state visit.
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The Queen halted at the Sovereign’s entrance to introduce President Donald Trump to one of her ladies-in-waiting, who was born in America. The Countess of Airlie was born in Newport, New Jersey, in 1933. And the Queen likely told the president as much when they stopped at the doorway.
The other people she introduced the president and his wife to were Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, and Tom Laing-Baker, assistant private secretary.
In an interview with The Sun this week, Trump said of the Queen: “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.”
The Queen has met 11 out of 12 serving U.S. presidents during her historic 66-year reign. The Queen never met President Lyndon Johnson during his presidency. She would have met him at John F. Kennedy’s funeral, but she was unable to travel to America because she was pregnant with Prince Edward at the time.
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