President Donald Trump concluded his rather testy state trip to the UK on Friday with a jaunt to Windsor Castle to meet Queen Elizabeth II. A visit with Great Britain’s longest-serving monarch is a real honor, and there are specific protocols one must follow when in the company of the queen. As America’s highest-ranking former steak salesman, Trump was surely briefed on the proper etiquette. But did he follow it?
Trump arrived at the Windsor grounds via helicopter and was reportedly late. According to the BBC’s list of “do’s and don’ts for meeting the Queen,” punctuality is important and guests should always “arrive before a royal.” So, not the best start, but royal observers were relieved to see that Trump did not bring Billy Bush along for the visit.
The president and First Lady Melania Trump then greeted Her Majesty with a handshake, behavior the BBC says is perfectly acceptable. We’re back in business, baby!
Next, the queen escorted Trump to inspect the Guard of Honour. At this point, Trump somehow got lost in between two rows of royal guards, and Her Majesty had to remind the American head of state about the mechanics of bipedal motion. With a little help, he soon figured it out.
The jetlagged Trump then cut off the queen, much like a New York City tourist might stop abruptly in the middle of the sidewalk to consult the novelty map he’d picked up at M&M’S World in Times Square.
The BBC explains that you must never “turn your back on Her Majesty” as “it is considered rude.” In Trump’s defense, he merely accelerated past the queen and made her walk around his big American keister. There was no turning. Looks like the president is in the clear.
Still, some commoners on Twitter found room for criticism.
The queen is famously reticent, so we may never hear her thoughts regarding the president’s lack of decorum. Until she releases an official statement, we should all just assume that the J in Donald J. Trump stands for “Jeepers, that’s a butt-load of decorum.”