Queen Elizabeth II has met with nearly every American President since Dwight Eisenhower during her more than 67 years on the throne. Next week, she’ll welcome President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump back to the United Kingdom, this time for a rare state visit.
Though the Trumps and the Royal Family are expected to adhere to the highest levels of protocol during the visit, Trump’s remarks ahead of the trip threaten to damage goodwill with the Queen — he publicly insulted her grandson’s wife on the eve of the visit.
During an interview with The Sun, Trump was asked about comments made by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, ahead of the 2016 election. Speaking on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” in 2016, Markle called Trump misogynistic and said his politics are divisive, saying she would move to Canada if he won the presidency.
Trump responded, “I didn’t know that she was nasty. I hope she is OK,” later adding, “I am sure she will go excellently (as a royal). She will be very good.” Buckingham Palace had no comment on Trump’s interview regarding Markle.
The Trumps previously met with the Queen at Windsor Castle last June, a more informal meeting over tea.
The trip comes amid a blitz of foreign travel for the President and will be the Trumps’ second state visit in less than two weeks. In May, they were Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s first state guests since he ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne earlier that month.
For the Trump’s official visit, Buckingham Palace is pulling out all of the Royal stops befitting a world leader. An official state visit requires the formal invitation of the Queen to a head of state “on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth office,” per Buckingham Palace, and usually involves a ceremonial welcome, a state banquet, other meetings with British officials and a formal farewell.
Trump, who is known to appreciate pomp and circumstance, is sure to revel in the pageantry. His adult children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump, will also be joining him and the first lady.