U.S. President Donald Trump isn’t renowned for being shy and retiring, but then he hasn’t met the Queen before. He kept his handshake short and stooped to hear what the U.K.’s diminutive 92-year-old monarch had to say as she welcomed him to Windsor Castle.
Half-shaded by a tent, Queen Elizabeth II stood in a blue hat and coat in blazing sunshine waiting for the president and first lady Melania Trump to arrive. And waited. It was more than 10 minutes before the black Range Rover pulled up on the gravel.
The president, now changed into a red and blue striped tie, and Melania climbed out of the car and, after handshakes and a little small talk, they stood either side of the monarch, towering over her, as the U.S. national anthem was played.
Trump and the Queen then inspected the troops from the Coldstream Guards and he kept putting out his hand to urge her to go ahead, to step up onto the grass first, to climb the steps back onto the dias. His suit billowing in the wind, he was the very model of a demure guest.
The Queen, whose father was on the throne when Donald Trump’s Scottish-born mother became a U.S. citizen in 1942, has hosted 12 U.S. Presidents, only missing Lyndon B Johnson.
The band played “hands across the sea” to mark the links between the two countries before she led her guests into the castle for that most English possible of engagements: Tea.