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State & Ceremonial

Why didn’t Donald & Melania Trump bow or curtsy to The Queen, Prince Charles or Camilla?

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks (Public Domain)

On Monday afternoon, The Queen welcomed President Trump and First Lady Melania to Buckingham Palace, where they had a tour and enjoyed a private lunch.

President Trump and Melania arrived left the US Ambassador’s residence for Buckingham Palace by helicopter. The three-mile journey ended as Marine One landed on the garden of the palace.

As the Trumps exited the aircraft, they were greeted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Their Royal Highnesses then escorted the President and the First Lady to the entrance of Buckingham Palace where they met The Queen.

However, at no point did the First Lady curtsy, or even bob her head when being introduced to The Royal Family.

This is not unusual when American Presidents and their spouses meet royals.

In 2011, neither Barack or Michelle Obama bowed or curtsied when being introduced to The Queen. Instead, each of them opted for a firm handshake.

Although bowing and curtsying is tradition, it is by no means compulsory as stated on The Royal Family’s website.

The guidance on the website states that there are no “obligatory codes” when meeting The Queen, but notes the traditional greetings, saying: “For men, this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.”