The President has met the Queen and other members of the Royal family during his official state visit to the UK. A gun salute was fired as Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were greeted by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on the back lawn at the palace earlier today.
Crowds outside the palace watched with camera phones held high as Marine One made its landing. The US leader stepped into the grounds of the palace shortly after midday before being taken to meet the Queen – their second introduction following Mr Trump’s working visit to Britain last summer.
Prince Charles guided Mr Trump with a hand on his back towards the West Terrace where the Queen was waiting and the pair shared a joke as they went. Trump exchanged a handshake with the Queen – that many compared to a ‘fist bump’ – as she smiled broadly at the foreign head of state. Watching from the balcony of the White Drawing Room overlooking the garden was Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner.
The Trumps and the Royals then went inside the palace, through the Bow Room, where the Queen introduced senior members of her household to her guests and in-turn the US leader did the same with prominent figures from his entourage. Outside the trees swayed and the waiting press shielded their eyes as the president’s helicopter and its accompanying aircraft took off.
After the helicopters left, the guard of honour formed of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards under the command of Major Hamish Hardy, and the Band of the Grenadier Guards and Corps of Drums of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, formed on the lawn.
The American national anthem was played as Prince Charles invited Mr Trump to inspect the guard of honour. Charles accompanied the president as he strode onto the lawn to inspect the waiting troops in their famous scarlet tunics and bearskins.
Donald Trump kicked off his visit this morning by firing shots at London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who he called a ‘stone cold loser’ just moments before landing at Stansted Airport. He also appeared to use some downtime before meeting the Queen to watch TV and berate both ‘fake news’ CNN and China in a series of tweets.
As Air Force One made its landing, the US president said Khan had been ‘foolishly nasty’ by saying the UK should not be ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for the visit. He also said the president was ‘like a 20th century fascist’ in an opinion piece over the weekend.
The mayor’s office responded to tweets sent by the president by saying he was offering ‘childish insults which should be beneath the President of the United States’. But Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Khan showed ‘great discourtesy’ to the president and accused Labour of ‘virtue-signalling of the worst kind’ over the visit.
The spat came at the beginning of a visit in which Mr Trump’s itinerary will see him take part in a number of royal engagements, as well as meeting Theresa May in her final days as prime minister.