Trump keeps Queen waiting before Windsor Castle tea

Queen Elizabeth and US President Donald Trump inspecting the guard of honour at Windsor Castle last Friday, the second day of Mr Trump's visit to Britain. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WINDSOR (England) • Mr Donald Trump met Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle but the 92-year-old monarch was kept waiting and forced at one point to walk around the US President after he halted abruptly during a ceremonial inspection of the guard.

Half-shaded by a tent, Queen Elizabeth stood in a blue hat and coat in blazing sunshine waiting for Mr Trump and his wife Melania to arrive. And waited. It was more than 10 minutes before the black Range Rover pulled up on the gravel.

Mr Trump's first visit to Britain as US President was not the full state visit he was originally promised, but he was heralded by military bands on his arrival at Windsor, before he and Mrs Trump went into the castle for tea with the queen.

He had earlier praised Queen Elizabeth as a "tremendous woman". His previous comments about the royals have been less tactful, including boasting that he would have slept with Diana, Princess of Wales "without even hesitation", and saying "who wouldn't" photograph the Duchess of Cambridge topless.

Some 1.86 million people in Britain signed a petition in June last year, wanting to prevent Mr Trump from making a state visit "because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen".

Last Friday, the Queen greeted the pair with a smile, although she had earlier glanced at her watch as she waited for their arrival.

Mr Trump, in a red and blue striped tie, and Melania, stood either side of the monarch, towering over her, as the US national anthem was played. While inspecting the guard, she appeared to give direction to Mr Trump but then he abruptly halted and the Queen was forced to walk around him.

Queen Elizabeth, whose father was on the throne when Mr Trump's Scottish-born mother became a US citizen in 1942, has hosted 12 US presidents.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched through London last Friday to demonstrate against Mr Trump's visit.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 15, 2018, with the headline 'Trump keeps Queen waiting before Windsor Castle tea'. Print Edition | Subscribe