During Donald Trump’s first visit to the United Kingdom as president of the United States, he finally met with Queen Elizabeth II. Unsurprisingly, he managed to break tradition (not in the good way, which is also known as the Meghan Markle way) by failing to follow royal protocol three times during his visit. The Queen has now met in person with 13 American presidents since 1951 (she never officially met Lyndon B. Johnson while he was in office), but it would appear that only the current sitting president managed to break the royal “rules” thrice within a matter of minutes of meeting her.
First, the Queen very patiently waited for the President’s arrival with Melania Trump. Before the Trumps arrived for tea at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth stood, checking her watch for over ten minutes. While it is not a law that one must be on time to meet with members of the royal family, it certainly is considered bad manners to be late. Of course, that wasn’t the only protocol Trump managed to muck up in the presence of the royal family, and the second and third gaffes occurred within a manner of minutes after the first.
The president and first lady did not bow or curtsy, but shook hands with Queen Elizabeth upon greeting her. Technically, bowing and curtsying are not required; there is no official rule stating that one must do so, but it is considered a major faux pas to not bow or curtsy when meeting the Queen, and just about everyone follows this unwritten rule when they meet Her Majesty.
Even Meghan Markle almost received a big Internet scolding when it appeared that during her wedding to Prince Harry she did not curtsy to Queen Elizabeth (she did, the cameras just didn’t catch it). Trump then walked in front of the Queen as the Coldstream Guards stood by, rather than allowing her to move forward ahead of him before her.
As part of Trump’s trip to the United Kingdom, he also met with Prime Minister Theresa May, visited his golfing club in Scotland, and posed sitting in Winston Churchill’s chair, while over 250,000 demonstrators in London protested the President’s visit and a giant balloon rendered to look like Trump as an oversize baby floated above.