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President Donald Trump’s run-ins with royalty


Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

And then we came to the end. The controversial presidency of Donald J. Trump finishes at noon on January 20th 2021 but will be talked about for years to come. In his four years in charge of the United States of America, President Trump has had several brushes with royalty and some of them have their very own place in the history books. Here, Royal Central looks back at the regal run ins of President Donald Trump.

Windsor Manoevres

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Who can forget the moment the President lost The Queen? At a meeting at Windsor Castle in July 2018, Donald Trump accompanied Elizabeth II on an inspection of the guard but briefly misplaced the monarch. As they walked through the soldiers, The Queen emerged from the President’s shadow and promptly put him right as to wear to walk next. It remains an iconic image.

Royal Debut

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The first royal visitors to the Trump White House were King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan who were there in April 2017 for talks.

Meeting monarchs

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In fact, Donald Trump rubbed shoulders with many royals during his one term in office. In May 2017, he headed to Brussels for a NATO summit and was welcomed to the Royal Palace by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. All was calmer than the much debated moment during the same trip when the President appeared to push the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of his way during a photo call.

G20 Greetings

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The G20 meeting in Osaka in June 2019 brought another royal encounter. Donald Trump chatted with Queen Maxima and it appears the Dutch royal was more than ready for the notorious presidential handshake, clearly taking the upper hand here.

The State Visits

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Japan had been the setting for a State visit by Donald and Melania Trump in May 2019. They were given an official welcome by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako who later hosted them at a State Banquet.

London Calling

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President Trump’s most talked about royal encounter remains his State Visit to the UK in June 2019. Huge protests in London ahead of the trip made headlines before the event had even got under way. Donald and Melania Trump were helicoptered into Buckingham Palace rather than receiving the usual royal welcome at Horseguards and a carriage procession through the capital. However, the State Banquet held in their honour had all the trappings of tradition while meetings at Downing Street and a visit to Westminster Abbey meant all the State Visit staples were covered.

Journey Interrupted

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However, State Visits weren’t always plain sailing. In 2019, the US President called off a planned State Visit to Denmark when the country’s Prime Minister said Greenland wasn’t for sale. In April 2020, Donald and Melania Trump were meant to welcome King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain to the White House for a State Visit that was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Spanish royals had already been guests of the Trumps when they popped in to the White House in June 2018 at the end of an official trip to the US.

Final Curtain

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The Trumps were back in Buckingham Palace in December 2019 at a reception for NATO leaders, hosted by The Queen. And it appears President Number 45 met his match in the Princess Royal who was famously ushered across to meet him by her mother before taking his seat next to The Prince of Wales for another historic photo. And so the curtain falls on a presidency like no other.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.