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Trump's glowing tribute to 'fantastic' Queen

US President Donald Trump and the Queen share a toast during the state banquet last night
US President Donald Trump and the Queen share a toast during the state banquet last night
President Trump, the Queen, Melania Trump, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall before the banquet
The Queen welcomes Melania Trump to Buckingham Palace earlier
Honour guard is inspected during the welcome ceremony
President Trump is greeted by the Queen
Mr Trump lays a wreath in Westminster Abbey, as Ivanka Trump looks
Ivanka Trump
Protesters outside the palace

By Tony Jones

US President Donald Trump has paid a heartfelt tribute to the Queen.

He praised her "spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart" after he spent the day with the "fantastic" royal family.

After the pomp and pageantry of the ceremonial welcome which clearly impressed the US leader and First Lady Melania Trump, he ended the first day of his state visit by praising the wartime strength of Britain, its people and the monarchy, in a speech delivered during a banquet staged in his honour.

In her address the Queen celebrated the special relationship between the UK and its closest ally, and while Brexit was not mentioned she highlighted how the two countries faced "new challenges of the 21st century".

But the forthcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day - the start of the Second World War liberation of Europe - reminded everyone about British and American achievements since 1944.

The Queen said: "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.

"After the shared sacrifices of the Second World War, Britain and the United States worked with other allies to build an assembly of international institutions, to ensure that the horrors of conflict would never be repeated.

US President Donald Trump, the Queen, and First Lady Melania Trump (Jeff Gilbert/Daily Telegraph/PA)
US President Donald Trump, the Queen, and First Lady Melania Trump (Jeff Gilbert/Daily Telegraph/PA)
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania are welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during the Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of his three day state visit to the UK.
Queen Elizabeth greets US President Donald Trump as he arrives for the Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of his three day state visit to the UK.
Ivanka Trump (2R) and her husband Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Jared Kushner (R) watch from a balcony as the US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump arrive for a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019, on the first day of their three-day State Visit to the UK.
President Donald Trump is greeted by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales on his arrival at Buckingham Palace on Marine One on June 3, 2019 in London, England.
Ivanka Trump looks out of the window at Buckingham Palace during the visit of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on June 03, 2019 in London, England.
Part of the President's motorcade drives past Buckingham Palace, London, during the first day of a state visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump.
Tourists waiting for Mr Trump to arrive at Buckingham Palace were able to watch the Household Cavalry make their way down to Horse Guards Parade (Steven Parsons/PA)
The Trump baby blimp in 2018 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Stansted Airport in Essex, aboard Air Force One for the start of his three day state visit to the UK. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Air Force One, carrying President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, arrives at Stansted Airport in Essex, for the start of the three day US state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump is greeted by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (left), as he and his wife Melania arrive at Stansted Airport in Essex, aboard Air Force One for the start of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Stansted Airport in Essex, aboard Air Force One for the start of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Media opposite Buckingham Palace, London, during the first day of a state visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Stansted Airport in Essex, aboard Air Force One for the start of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Flags on the Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace, London, during the first day of a state visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Flags on the Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace, London, during the first day of a state visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Activist from Amnesty International unfurl anti-Trump banners from Vauxhall Bridge in sight of the US Embassy in central London, on day one of US President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Activist from Amnesty International unfurl anti-Trump banners from Vauxhall Bridge in sight of the US Embassy in central London, on day one of US President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Items are unloaded from Air Force One following the arrival of US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania at Stansted Airport in Essex, aboard Air Force One for the start of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump is greeted by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (left), as he and his wife Melania arrive at Stansted Airport in Essex, aboard Air Force One for the start of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump is greeted by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (left), as he and his wife Melania arrive at Stansted Airport in Essex, aboard Air Force One for the start of his three day state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Flags on the Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace, London, during the first day of a state visit to the UK by US President Donald Trump. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 3, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Trump. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

"While the world has changed, we are forever mindful of the original purpose of these structures: nations working together to safeguard a hard-won peace."

Mr Trump told the Buckingham Palace guests, which included DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds: "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.

"From the Second World War to today, Her Majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these priceless traditions.

"She has embodied the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart.

"On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long-cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the Queen. Thank you."

As the guests stood up and raised their glasses, Mr Trump appeared to breach accepted royal protocol by touching the Queen on the back.

He briefly and gently put his left hand out behind the monarch who seemed unperturbed.

He also said: "The courage of the United Kingdom's sons and daughters ensured that your destiny would always remain in your own hands. Through it all, the royal family was the resolute face of the commonwealth's unwavering solidarity.

"In April 1945, newspapers featured a picture of the Queen Mother visiting the woman's branch of the Army, watching a young woman repair a military truck engine. That young mechanic was the future Queen, a great, great woman."

Earlier, Mr Trump had posted a series of controversial Twitter messages, launching a tirade against the London Mayor, "fake news" and China.

But after being welcomed by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on the palace lawns before meeting the Queen, having lunch with the monarch and her family, then tea with Charles and Camilla, the President tweeted the trip was "going really well".

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