DONALD TRUMP appeared to flagrantly break royal protocol this evening by touching the Queen on the back as she rose for his toast at the state banquet in Buckingham Palace.
After giving a glowing speech about the courage of British soldiers on D-Day and the close ties the US and the UK share, Mr Trump proceeded to briefly and gently put his left hand out behind the monarch. The Queen seemed unperturbed by the unprecedented gesture – after all, Mr Trump had just delivered a grateful tribute to his host. Touching Queen Elizabeth II has long been considered one of the greatest taboos surrounding the British monarch, one of the unwritten rules about how people are expected to behave around the royal family.
And Mr Trump isn’t the only one to fall foul of this hallowed tradition.
Michelle Obama once put her arm around the Queen and explained herself in her new autobiography, Becoming.
She said: “We were briefed on the protocol ahead of time: We’d greet the Royals formally before getting into their vehicle to make the short drive.
“I’d sit in the front next to ninety-four-year-old Prince Philip, who would drive, and Barack would sit next to the Queen in the back seat.
“After we’d touched down in a field on the palace grounds and said our hellos, however, the Queen abruptly threw a wrench into everything by gesturing for me to join her in the back seat of the Range Rover.
Donald Trump UK visit: The president touched the Queen on the back at the banquet (Image: Sky)
“I froze, trying to remember if anyone had prepared me for this scenario, whether it was more polite to go along with it or to insist that Barack take his proper seat by her side.
“The Queen immediately picked up on my hesitations and was having none of it.
“Did they give you some rule about this?’ she said, dismissing all the fuss with a wave of her hand.”
Mr Trump paid tribute to the Queen this evening as embodying “the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart”.
He said: “From the Second World War to today, Her Majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these priceless traditions.
“She has embodied the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart.
Trump visit: President calls the Queen a ‘great great woman’
“On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the Queen. Thank you.”
Meanwhile, a White House statement said Mr Trump wanted to strengthen economic ties with the UK through an ambitious new trade agreement.
“The United Kingdom is one of the largest markets for US exports and one of the largest suppliers of U.S. imports,” it said.
“In February, President Trump outlined his negotiating objectives to strike an ambitious trade agreement with the United Kingdom after it leaves the EU.
“As two of the top five largest economies in the world, the United States and the United Kingdom stand to benefit greatly from expanded trade and economic co-operation.
“In 2018, the United States and the United Kingdom had more than 260 billion in two-way trade in goods and services.
” At nearly 1.3 trillion, the United States and the United Kingdom share one of the world’s largest bilateral foreign direct investment partnerships.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK