Trumps host Macrons for a glitzy Mount Vernon evening

US President Donald Trump (left) and first lady Melania Trump (right) pose with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron as they walk to a tree planting ceremony together in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.
US President Donald Trump (left) and first lady Melania Trump (right) pose with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron as they walk to a tree planting ceremony together in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron stand at attention for the French and US national anthems as they arrive for their state visit to Washington, on April 23, 2018.
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron stand at attention for the French and US national anthems as they arrive for their state visit to Washington, on April 23, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shovelling dirt onto a freshly planted oak tree as First Lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron watch on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shovelling dirt onto a freshly planted oak tree as First Lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron watch on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS
Tables for the State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron are shown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.
Tables for the State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron are shown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS
A menu for the State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron is shown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.
A menu for the State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron is shown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS
Cherry blossom flowers decorate the Cross Hall for the State Dinner for France's President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.
Cherry blossom flowers decorate the Cross Hall for the State Dinner for France's President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS
Cherry blossom flowers decorate the Cross Hall for the State Dinner for France's President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018.
Cherry blossom flowers decorate the Cross Hall for the State Dinner for France's President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington, US, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

MOUNT VERNON (AFP) - The French and American presidents walked in step as they approached George Washington's historic Mount Vernon mansion overlooking the Potomac River, their stiletto-clad wives following as a harpist serenaded the glamorous double date.

Donald Trump's answer to a lavish Eiffel Tower dinner last summer at the invitation of Emmanuel Macron, Monday's theatricality set the stage for the US president's first state dinner - as well as two days of talks over hot-button issues including the Iran nuclear accord.

The Macrons joined the Trumps for the outing to the Mount Vernon estate after the French president and his wife Brigitte visited the White House, where the world leaders appeared jovial despite differing on myriad issues in recent months.

Wielding golden shovels, the leaders together planted an oak sapling from Macron as a testament of Franco-American friendship.

Later in the evening the foursome boarded the US leader's Marine One helicopter that whisked them to Mount Vernon for a private dinner.

Upon arriving, the Trumps and Macrons posed for a brief photo-op before golf carts chauffeured them to Washington's historic plantation mansion.

A single photo of the manor's interior, released by France's Elysee, showed the two presidents speaking in front of a small table decorated with roses.

Brigitte Macron donned a daffodil tailored shift dress and jacket ensemble that contrasted sharply with a black waist tie and high heels. Those shoes' vertiginous height was slightly outdone by the even taller pair of Louboutins that Melania Trump wore along with a little black dress and matching tuxedo-style cape, her long nails painted white.


US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump escort French President Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron as they arrive together on the Marine One helicopter for a dinnertime visit to the estate of the first US President George Washington in Mount Vernon, Virginia, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Both world leaders sported dark suits, Macron wearing a dark gray tie and Trump's in bright blue.

Following the two-hour meal the couples reboarded the roaring helicopter to embark on the rest of the three-date state visit, which will include weighty diplomatic talks and a much-anticipated state dinner Tuesday evening.

The menu for that dinner, with more than 100 guests expected, will include rack of lamb and New Orleans-style jambalaya.


The State Dining Room is seen ahead of a State Dinner in honor of France at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: AFP 

 

The White House said the colour scheme for the dinner is cream and gold and food will be served on china from the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The Cross Hall of the White House will be decorated with more than 1,200 cherry blossom branches, while the dining room will feature white sweet peas and white lilacs.

Entertainment for the glitzy affair will be provided by the Washington National Opera.