Trump, however, has been left unable to complain and demand a photo call with Harry or William, because he has been given several moments with the queen and Prince Charles, who significantly outrank Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, and therefore not obligated to take part in state occasions. Trump’s cold-shouldering by William and Kate is arguably a more provocative move on the part of the young royals. As second in line to the throne, it could be argued that William and his wife do have a responsibility to greet Trump one-on-one in front of the cameras, but so far they have studiously avoided doing so.
At the state banquet, they were both seated several places away from Trump, in what was clearly a deliberate (and successful) attempt to restrict the president’s ability to harness the popularity of the young royals. Harry was never scheduled to attend the state banquet, but his absence was still (correctly) interpreted as a snub to Trump. It was also noticeable that when Trump visited Westminster Abbey on Monday to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, he was not accompanied by William, as might have been expected, but by Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son. Andrew’s name-recognition in the wider U.S. is minimal, meaning the trip will have little PR value for the 2020 campaign. Instead, Trump will have to be content with images of him greeting the queen and Prince Charles.
And yet, President Trump has made it clear to those close to him that he actually does care about his reputation among the British royals. According to several former and current White House officials, Trump will grow visibly more animated or excited when the topic of meeting prominent members of royal families comes up, including the British royals. He makes a point of repeatedly asking aides about what he and others should wear during state visits and high-profile events with foreign countries’ royalty, the sources said, and enthusiastically asks advisers about what kind of pomp and pageantry he should expect.
“He is sensitive about the perceptions that he offended… the Queen,” a former White House official said, referencing a moment last year when the U.S. president appeared to briefly and awkwardly walk in front of the then 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. “He also really just wants the [British] royal family to like him.” Two people close to the president said that on multiple occasions he’s complained privately about a media narrative that he believes portrays the British royal family as hating Trump and not wanting to spend time with him while he’s in town. “The president thinks that it’s ‘fake news’ trying to make it look like they don’t like him personally, when really [he feels that] they do love Trump,” one of these sources said.
Further, a Whitehall official told The Times that the queen’s meeting last year with President Trump was “kept to the bare minimum. The Queen will do her duty, but among the wider family, they were not as enthusiastic as they were when [President Barack] Obama came over.”
[From The Daily Beast]
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the #USStateVisit Banquet, hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. In a speech at the Banquet, The Queen said: Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come. Visit @TheRoyalFamily to see more from the #USStateVisit. 📷PA
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