Jonathan Brady – PA Images
One day we'll get to see the historic photo op of Meghan Markle, the first American-born member of the British royal family in good standing, meeting with an American first family, but it won't be happening anytime soon. Even though President Donald Trump is packing up his entire family (even Tiffany is coming, so you know it's serious) to head over to London next month for his first full state visit to England since taking office, Markle will conveniently be otherwise occupied and won't be able to make his acquaintance. She's on maternity leave, after all.
Trump has officially visited the U.K. as president once before, in July 2018, during a wider tour of Europe, but after some consternation and controversy, it was agreed that the trip would by styled as a "working visit" as opposed to a "state visit." He met with Prime Minister Theresa May and, briefly, Queen Elizabeth II, but wasn't introduced to the rest of the royals, nor did he get to enjoy the pomp and circumstance of an official visit.
This time around will be a different story completely. The Trumps have nine events scheduled with the royal family packed into just three short days. Some speculate that this might be because the Brits have caught on to the fact that President Trump enjoys the fancier trappings of diplomacy (parades, photo ops, dinners, et cetera) as opposed to the more tedious stuff. There's also the matter of the fact that England might not have a political leader worth sitting down with while Trump is a guest in their country. Theresa May's recently announced resignation will take effect just days after the Trumps depart, and her replacement will not be selected until July. So the royals will have to keep Trump entertained instead.
Trump and family will arrive on Monday, June 3, when they'll be greeted by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at Buckingham Palace. After that, it's off to lunch with the Queen, as well as a special viewing of items of American significance in the palace's Picture Gallery. For the afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Trump will be handed off to Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, for a quick visit to Westminster Abbey. Then it's tea with Charles and Camilla again, before a full-scale state dinner given by the Queen.
The next day, Trump will humor Prime Minister May by cohosting a business breakfast in which Prince Andrew will be in attendance. Then it's another dinner with Charles and Camilla. Finally, on that Wednesday, Trump will attend a National Commemorative Event for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings alongside the Queen and Prince Charles before bidding adieu.
While the Queen and Princes Charles and Andrew have their hands full between them, it's less clear what responsibilities the younger royals will have during the trip (someone has to talk to Tiffany, right?). According to Newsweek, Prince William and Kate Middleton are not scheduled to attend any of the events so far, though it's been reported that Prince Harry may pop out for one of the lunches.
Meghan Markle will decidedly not be showing up, however, because she's on maternity leave, having just given birth to Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (indeed, the wee royal will be celebrating his one-month milestone during the Trumps' visit). It's unclear how long Markle's maternity leave is expected to last, though she may make some public appearances during that time. Ironically, it's rumored her first one may come the weekend after the Trumps leave. Trooping the Colour, an event to mark the Queen's birthday, is scheduled for that Saturday, and it's believed that Markle could appear.
Interestingly, however, Markle has a history of speaking out against Trump before she became a royal. Back in 2016 she appeared on The Nightly Show and called Trump "divisive" and "misogynistic," and even proclaimed that she might just stay in Canada, where she was shooting Suits at the time, if he were elected. “I mean, come on, if that’s the reality we are talking about...that is a game changer in terms of how we move in the world here," she said of Trump.
Though she's already had one close encounter with a Trump before.
Back in September 2017, First Lady Melania Trump was sent as the American delegate to the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, an event cofounded by Prince Harry, in Toronto. The first lady and Harry briefly sat next to each other, marking the first time a British royal met a member of the Trump family. Though the world was more concerned with who wasn't sitting with Harry.
Meghan and Harry's relationship had just gone public at the time, but protocol dictated that the pair couldn't sit together. Instead, Markle was spotted elsewhere in the arena, away from her then-boyfriend and the first lady, only to break protocol and appear next to Harry a few days later.
It seems now she may swerve the Trumps again.
Maybe she'll be hanging out with Prince George in his little robe instead. He's not scheduled for any meetings on the Trump itinerary, either. He's selective that way.