Donald Trump UK visit day one: Highlights as the Queen greets the US president
The talking points from the start of the US president’s state visit.
Embarking on the first day of his state visit to the UK, Donald Trump received a ceremonial welcome from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
The US president viewed the Royal Collection, laid a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey and took tea with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, before a state banquet on Monday evening.
Here are the talking points and highlights from the first of three days Mr Trump is spending in the UK.
Tweet of the day
.@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
The day began with a moment of animosity before the president had even landed, as Mr Trump launched a Twitter tirade at Sadiq Khan, branding the London mayor a “stone cold loser” but adding he was “very much looking forward” to the visit.
The statement came after Mr Khan described the president as “just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat” and compared the language he has used to that of the “fascists of the 20th century” on Sunday.
Misspelling the mayor’s name, Mr Trump tweeted: “@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me……
“…Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now.”
A close inspection
Mr Trump took his time as he joined Prince Charles in inspecting the Guard of Honour, formed by Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards.
It’s fair to say he looked reasonably impressed.
Walking ahead of Charles he strolled alongside Captain of the Guard Hamish Hardy between the waiting troops, formed up in two lines with the guardsmen wearing their famous scarlet tunics and bearskins.
Picture of the day
The meeting of Mr Trump and the Queen was sealed with a rather unusual handshake, with many remarking on first inspection that they had exchanged a fist bump.
However it appears the president actually clenched her hand rather than shaking it with a flat hand.
Body language expert Judi James suggested Mr Trump – known usually for prolonged and extremely firm handshakes – was not able to get a proper grasp because the Queen usually offers only her fingertips – and that his “huge hands” did not help matters.
“Donald Trump is more inhibited when he’s shaking hands with the Queen,” said Ms James. “He was leaning forward from a distance, with a tentative pawing of her hand.”
A tour of a special collection of treasures of historical significance to the US, laid out in a display at Buckingham Palace, could have been cause for a moment of slight embarrassment for Mr Trump as he failed to recognise a gift he had given the Queen himself, but his wife gamely came to the rescue.
Mr Trump was left scratching his head when asked if he recognised a polished pewter statue of a horse – a piece Mr Trump gifted to the monarch at tea with her at Windsor Castle in June last year.
Tim Knox, director of the Royal Collection who joined the Queen during the tour said when Mr Trump was asked if he recognised it, he said “no” but “the First Lady did recognise it, which is rather nice”.
Mr Knox joked: “But one horse looks very much like another.”
Quote of the day
The quote of the day goes comes from the president’s own hand as he signed the Distinguished Visitors’ Book at Westminster Abbey.
Signing under the Congressional Medal of Honour in the Abbey’s nave he wrote: “Thank you so much. This has been a great honor. Special place.”
Both Mr and Mrs Trump put their signatures beneath the words.
Mr Trump’s visit to the Abbey also saw him lay a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Warrior in honour of the two World Wars and more recent conflicts, as is tradition with a state visit – President George W Bush laid a wreath in 2003 and President Barack Obama in 2011.
Standing at the grave, the President touched his hand on the wreath and kept his eyes closed during the prayer.
Gaffes of the day
Fortunately for the Trumps, this gaffe was on the part of the photojournalists at Clarence House, where the couple met the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for tea, and not themselves.
A photographer’s flash diffuser fell off their camera and landed at the feet of Charles, who promptly picked it up and returned it, but not before offering his own quote of the day.
“Looks like an ice cream,” the royal remarked.
At Monday’s state banquet, Mr Trump appeared to breach accepted royal protocol by touching the Queen on the back as she rose for his toast.
Mr Trump briefly and gently put his left hand out behind the monarch. The Queen seemed unperturbed.
The Trump family met the royal family at the lavish state banquet, where senior royals, captains of industry and other leading figures gathered to honour Mr Trump.
Music included Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran and Tonight from West Side Story, and it is thought that it took four days to set the table, with each guest allowed 18 inches for their place setting.
Mr Trump told the Buckingham Palace banquet guests: “As we honour our shared victory and heritage, we affirm the common values that will unite us long into future.
“Freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, the rule of law and reference for the rights given to us by almighty God.”
The Queen said in her speech: “As we face the new challenges of the 21st century, the anniversary of D-Day reminds us of all that our countries have achieved together.”