Donald Trump visits the Queen: Live updates - Macleans.ca

Donald Trump visits the Queen: Live updates

The U.S. President gets the glittering state visit he wanted. What Britain and its monarch get is less certain.

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9:15 pm, London time

It was the case of duelling speeches as the Queen and Donald Trump talked over each other.

The Queen gave a carefully calibrated speech, which contained one paragraph that was a clear jab at the President’s American First policy of retreating from the international community: “As we face the new challenges of the Twenty First 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. 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.”

Donald Trump, who read his speech carefully and didn’t seem to deviate from his script, responded (I have notes, but not a full transcript). He talked about how D-Day was an opportunity to “win back our civilization.” He then mentioned how Britain stood alone during the Blitz (ignoring all the Commonwealth nations, including Canada that had military troops, aircraft and weaponry in Britain and were sending supplies across the deadly oceans) and how that fighting “ensured your destiny would always remain in your own hands,” a not so subtle plug for Brexit, which he openly supports. At the end he made more subtle pro-Brexit, anti-EU references when he talked of the “common values that will unite us “including freedom, sovereignty, self-determination and the “rights given to us by our mighty God.”


9:00 pm, London time

The procession into a state banquet is one of the few times that the words “royal protocol” are used properly. For there is a protocol of who walks with whom and in what order. The royals and guests usually follow the rules of precedence. So the Queen is ahead of her heir, Prince Charles, just as President Trump is more important than one of his cabinet ministers. Protocol experts of the royal household have spent weeks figuring out exactly who sits where, and beside whom. Nothing, absolutely nothing is left to chance. In fact, several “back-up” courtiers are in the palace, just in case someone is a last-minute no show. They are like those Oscar performance seat fillers, except they have to make conversation and act as if everything is going according to schedule, even though it’s not.

MENU:

  • Steamed fillet of halibut with watercress mousse
  • Asparagus spears & chervil sauce
  • Saddle of new season Windsor lamb with herb stuffing
  • Spring vegetables, port sauce
  • Strawberry sable with lemon verbena cream
  • Assorted fresh fruits
  • Coffee & petit fours

WINE

  • 2014 Windsor Great Park
  • 2014 Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet
  • 1990 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
  • Hambledon Classic Rose
  • 1985 Churchill’s port

7:25 pm, London time

The ballroom of Buckingham palace is ready for the state banquet. The U-shaped table is dressed, the silverware is gleaming, the flowers are beautiful.

There are 19 serving stations in the room, each with a traffic light system (red and green) to indicate when to place and remove each course. And retired staff often return for such occasions as they know the exacting choreography.

Each place setting is precisely 18 inches apart (and yes, the royal staff measure the distance down to a hairs-breadth. At each place setting are six glasses for the water and wines served during the banquet (and yes, teetotallers like the President are accommodated).


 

 

5:50 pm, London time

As the Trumps and members of the royal family get ready for the state banquet (the Queen is a fast dresser; she has even put on a tiara while running down a corridor), some photos have emerged of the rather sparse crowds that lined the Mall for a glimpse of the President as he went by. They were…underwhelming.

On a typical early June day (high season for tourists) there are a lot more people in the historic area. But then again, the heavily security likely stopped lots from going anywhere near the area.


4:45 pm, London time

The Trumps left Clarence House 4:45 pm. So they stayed approximately 10 minutes over the carefully timed schedule. That’s likely a good sign that the tea went well. (see previous tweet for the explanation)

There are no events until the state banquet. Though everyone is hoping Donald Trump stays away from Twitter, at least until after the speeches at the state banquet. The photos of the arrivals of the royals will begin at around 7:30 pm London time (2:30 ET). Expect a large turnout including Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, who will be wearing the sash and star of the dame grand cross of the Royal Victorian Order for the first time.


4:00 pm, London time

The day’s events are hewing very close to the schedule. The Trumps are now at Clarence House. Charles and Camilla met their car, so the greetings were largely out of site of the media (you could hear the gnashing of teeth) and there was no photo op as they entered the private residence for a late afternoon tea.

The private event could be the most contentious. No one will throw cakes, but Charles is very passionate about the environment and interfaith relations. And very open with his opinions. Trump is…less so.

I’ll keep an eye on when the Trumps leave Clarence House. The schedule has them leaving at 4:30 pm. As royal author Robert Hardman pointed out in my preview of this visit (below), timing matters. “As for subtle hints that the trip is going well, or not, Robert Hardman advises to look at the timing of the events on both days. It’s a good sign if events run a bit over their allotted slots, such as happened when the Trumps had tea last year at Windsor Castle. Relentless punctuality? Not so good.”

The Queen is used to thin-skinned megalomaniacs. She can deal with Trump.


3:10 pm, London time

The President arrives at Westminster Abbey. And yup, his route avoided going by Parliament Square, which has the Trump baby blimp flying.

This is the most solemn event of the day. He will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. It contains an unidentified body of a soldier killed in the First World War. As the abbey’s website states, “whose body was brought from France to be buried here on 11th November 1920. The grave, which contains soil from France, is covered by a slab of black Belgian marble from a quarry near Namur.” The poppies around the grave make it the only spot in the abbey that absolutely no one walks upon. It is hallowed ground.

Laying a wreath to honour Britain’s war dead is a standard part of most state visits. A senior member of the royal family usually attends; this time that person was Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Then they take a short tour of the abbey itself, though it will not include the ancient church’s newest tourist attraction: the Diamond Jubilee Galleries that show off the abbey’s treasures, and showcase what is known as the “best view in Europe.” It also marked the first tower built in more than three centuries. My story of it is here.


2:50 pm, London time

After a private lunch with members of the royal family, the more public aspects of the state visit continued with a viewing of historic items from the Royal Collection and Royal Library, selected specifically for this visit.

In addition, the gifts given by the Queen to Donald and Melania Trump have been announced. The first lady gets a custom-made silver box while the President gets a specially tooled edition of Winston Churchill’s book on the Second World War (fitting as the 75th anniversary of D-Day is on June 6) plus a special Duofold pen that is made exclusively for the Queen. It is three pens in one, including a fountain pen, rollerball pen and a ball point pen.


12:50 pm, London time

The ceremonial welcome is over. It went well except for a few interesting moments. Donald Trump seemed to be under the impression that the Queen was going to inspect the guard of honour with him, just as she did last year at Windsor Castle. When Prince Charles came forward to escort him to inspect the Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards, the president seemed startled, and not entirely happy that the photo op would be with Charles, not the Queen.

For the record, this sort of detail would be laid out in excruciating detail in briefing books created for the visit. But as Donald Trump is not a great reader, perhaps he wasn’t told. The reason for Charles to do it is one of practicality. This was a job usually done by Prince Philip, who is now retired. And the Queen is 93, and would have to go up and down the stairs twice.

The other interesting moments were during the inspection itself. Last year, Donald Trump strode rather quickly down the line of soldiers, all but ignoring the Queen’s entreaties to talk to the troops. This time, he stopped often, and had such conversations (usually they are brief chats) that the band had its bobby music on replay to fill the time. Still, much better than his previous effort.


12:22 pm, London time

Donald and Melania Trump have arrived at Buckingham Palace. And yes, they were exactly on time. No one, not even Donald Trump messes with the Queen’s timetable (she’s not one for late arrivals). The U.S. guests were greeted at Marine One by Charles and Camilla, then met the Queen at the palace.

 


12:10 pm, London time

As the personal controversies that Donald Trump may do well to avoid when chatting with members of the royal family, there are several specific ones involving royal women: Diana, Kate and Meghan.

  1. In a pre-visit interview, he called Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, “nasty”

2. Then there was his reaction when a paparazzi photographer snapped topless photos of a vacationing Kate, Duchess of Cornwall, at a secluded French villa

3. And finally, there are his vulgar comments regarding Diana, Princess of Wales.


12:00 pm, London time

The last time Donald Trump visited the Queen, a controversial theory swirled around social media that the monarch had subtly dissed the president through her jewellery.

My fact-checking story from July 2018 began:

That I’m writing a story devoted to whether Queen Elizabeth II “brooch trolled” U.S. President Donald Trump during his visit to Windsor Castle and if he lied about how long it has been since the Queen inspected a guard of honour proves one thing: It is most definitely 2018.

Such is the love-hate divide in the United States (and the world) regarding Trump that people are far too eager to latch onto easily debunkable narratives in their quest to claim the moral high ground above the Republican politician. Other pro- or anti-Trump stories are accepted on face value without question, depending on which side you’re on.

This time, a 92-year-old monarch who is beloved and respected for her decades of service to Britain and the Commonwealth is having her sterling reputation besmirched as she is yanked into the maw of partisan hyperbole that swirls around Trump. After a single tweet-storm went viral thanks to those who firmly oppose Trump, countless numbers of people around the world now believe the head of state of Britain used her jewellery to mock the head of state of the United States.


11:55 am, London time

For those wondering how Queen Elizabeth II will handle such a controversial foreign leader, the answer is simple: with her usual aplomb.

I wrote about her most controversial foreign leader visits: “Asked to list the worst visits to Britain of the current monarch’s reign, royal author Robert Hardman points to three that “the Queen would most like to forget.” All involved thin-skinned megalomaniacs with an overweening sense of their importance. And all occurred in the 1970s, when Britain’s economy was struggling and its government was desperate for foreign trade and alliances.”


11:45 am, London time

The rather boisterous crowds in London that may want to disrupt Donald Trump’s visit won’t get many opportunities to even see him. Aside from driving to Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and then going to Clarence House for tea with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, virtually the entire first day’s transportation involves helicopter trips.

But protesters are ready. And the Trump baby blimp is back. London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave permission for it to fly above Parliament Square, which is across the street from Parliament and, more importantly, directly beside Westminster Abbey. It’s unclear the route the presidential motorcade will travel, but it’s a safe bet that Trump’s staff will try to avoid photographers getting a snap of the President and the blimp in the same image.


11:30 am, London time

It’s 19 degrees and partially cloudy at Buckingham Palace as Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family await the start of a state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump. Though precautionary tents and coverings have been set up, there’s only a one per cent chance of rain in the forecast.

It’s going to be a busy day. Donald and Melania Trump landed in Britain at 9:o0 am local time and were whisked to the U.S. ambassador’s residence, where they will stay during their two-day state visit. As a rule, American leaders don’t stay at Buckingham Palace, as others do, for security reasons. Also, the palace is in the midst of a massive renovation, so living at a construction site may not be ideal.

Here is the detailed White House schedule, that includes Eastern Time Zone times as well as local London ones.

7:00 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Winfield House Landing Zone en route to Buckingham Palace Landing Zone (12:00 PM Local)

Winfield House, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
7:10 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Buckingham Palace Landing Zone (12:10 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
7:20 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY are introduced to the Members of the Royal Household and British Suite with Her Majesty the Queen (12:20 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
7:35 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in official welcome ceremony with Her Majesty the Queen (12:35 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Expanded Pool
8:00 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY introduce the American Suite to Her Majesty the Queen (1:00 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
8:15 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in a private luncheon with Her Majesty the Queen (1:15 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
9:00 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in royal collection gift review with Her Majesty the Queen (2:00 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
10:00 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Buckingham Palace en route to Westminster Abbey (3:00 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
10:10 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Westminster Abbey (3:10 PM Local)

Westminster Abbey, London, England, United Kingdom
Expanded Pool
10:15 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (3:15 PM Local)

Westminster Abbey, London, England, United Kingdom
Expanded Pool
10:20 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY tour Westminster Abbey and sign the guestbook (3:20 PM Local)

Westminster Abbey, London, England, United Kingdom
Expanded Pool
10:50 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Westminster Abbey en route to Clarence House (3:50 PM Local)

Westminster Abbey, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
11:00 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Clarence House (4:00 PM Local)

Clarence House, London, England, United Kingdom
11:05 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in a photo opportunity with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall (4:05 PM Local)

Clarence House, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
11:15 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY have tea with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall (4:15 PM Local)

Clarence House, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
11:30 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Clarence House en route to Buckingham Palace Landing Zone (4:30 PM Local)

Clarence House, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
11:35 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Buckingham Palace Landing Zone (4:35 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
11:45 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Buckingham Palace Landing Zone en route to Winfield House Landing Zone (4:45 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
11:55 AM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Winfield House Landing Zone (4:55 PM Local)

Winfield House, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
2:30 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Winfield House Landing Zone en route to Buckingham Palace Landing Zone (7:30 PM Local)

Winfield House, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
2:40 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Buckingham Palace Landing Zone (7:40 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
3:10 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in a presentation of guests with Her Majesty the Queen (8:10 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
3:30 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in a royal procession with Her Majesty the Queen (8:30 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
3:45 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in a State Banquet with Her Majesty the Queen (8:45 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
5:35 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in a reception after the State Banquet with Her Majesty the Queen (10:35 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Closed Press
6:00 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Buckingham Palace en route to Winfield House (11:00 PM Local)

Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
6:20 PM

Official Schedule

The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Winfield House (11:20 PM Local)

Winfield House, London, England, United Kingdom