Footage of Trump walking in front of Queen Elizabeth II as they inspected her honor guard on Friday swept across the internet over the weekend. The ordeal, which lasted for a matter of seconds, merely looks awkward to the unknowing eye. But it’s apparently a no-no in British royal protocol.
When the pair starts walking, the queen gestures to Trump, apparently trying to direct him where to go. He walks ahead of her, as she tries to move behind him and to his other side. Trump stops, seeming to realize he’s lost her, and she returns to where she was in the first place.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth walks around US President Donald Trump as they inspect the guard at Windsor Castle pic.twitter.com/2DWfIlTeMT— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 13, 2018
I’m no royalty expert, but I’m confident cutting the Queen off is frowned upon pic.twitter.com/c2KSkUn145— UnsilentMajority (@The_UnSilent_) July 13, 2018
Me: I am ambivalent towards the monarchy.— Tom Neenan (@TNeenan) July 13, 2018
[Trump walks slightly ahead of the Queen]
Me: Hang the treasonous commoner does he not know that glorious woman was CHOSEN BY GOD!?
I am reminded of what my blue-collar dad used to tell us kids: Money can't buy class. https://t.co/tQh1y7FX86— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) July 14, 2018
Trump’s UK trip probably hasn’t been his most fun
Some people also criticized Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for shaking hands with the queen when greeting her instead of bowing or curtseying, which is customary. But the BBC says it’s allowed to shake her hand or, if you really want, do some combination of two or three.
Trump was also reportedly a bit late to his meeting, although that is in dispute.
For all those asking, no, Trump did not keep the Queen waiting. He was due at 5pm and the motorcade drove into the Quadrangle at 4.59pm.— Victoria Arbiter (@victoriaarbiter) July 13, 2018
A spokeswoman for Melania Trump told the New York Times that the first lady was briefed on royal protocol before the visit. It’s not known whether Trump also got the memo. He is famously averse to briefing books.
Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom was met with protesters this week. Thousands of people took to the streets on Friday in London to speak out against the US president, and a giant “Trump baby” balloon floated above the city. Protesters also gathered outside of Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland on Saturday and chanted at him as he golfed.
Trump is by no means the only US official to be accused of making a mistake in his interactions with the queen. First Lady Michelle Obama put her arm around the queen in 2009, and the queen reciprocated the embrace. You’re not supposed to touch the queen.