He is known to ruffle feathers, but when Donald Trump meets the Queen on Friday the President of the United States will be expected to adhere to a strict set of etiquette rules and traditions.
The American leader is scheduled to sit down to tea with Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle for the first time on Friday, as part of Trumps’ four day visit to the United Kingdom, and the 72-year-old said he is excited about meeting the “tremendous woman”.
While Trump is far from the first American president to have enjoyed an audience with Queen Elizabeth II – as the likes of Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama were all been invited to Buckingham Palace by the Head of the Commonwealth – his visit has caused quite a stir, with protests being held across the English capital.
According to royal protocol, heads of state are not usually expected to bow when they meet the 92-year-old monarch, however the world will be watching very closely as the former property mogul and the First Lady Melania have an audience with the Queen at her favourite palace.
Here are the etiquette rules that Trump will be expected to follow:
Bowing to the Queen
According to Royal author Hugh Vickers, who spoke to AP, Trump and the first lady will not be expected to bow or curtsy to the Queen. However, it is common practice for heads of state to perform the act anyway, out of respect, and British Prime Minister Theresa May regularly curtsies when she meets the Queen in public, while men usually give a short bow from their necks.
Use the correct title
When meeting the Queen, guests are expected to address her as “Your Majesty” in the first instance, then call her “Ma’am” (pronounced like ham) afterwards. It is not considered appropriate to call the Queen by her first name – a gaffe that Nelson Mandela made in 2014 – and it is never okay for people to use her nickname Lilibet, which is reserved solely for very close family members.
Vickers added: “He would be wise not to attempt to kiss her, and I don’t expect for a moment that he will.” The Queen is not known for gushing displays of affection in public, however she did not bat an eyelid at the 2009 G20 Summit when then-First Lady Michelle Obama put her arm around the monarch, with the Queen even returning the gesture.
Correct use of cup and saucer
One of the more old-fashioned etiquette rules is to ensure correct use of a cup and saucer when drinking tea, however Vickers said this one is no longer strictly upheld. Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, told AP: “As long as he doesn’t drink it out of the saucer. That’s frowned upon.”
Don’t turn your back on the Queen
It is considered rude to stand with your back to the monarch, and the Duchess of Sussex caused an outcry in June when she was photographed with her back to her new husband’s grandmother at Royal Ascot.
The monarch famously dislikes revealing clothing so it is expected that Melania Trump will wear something more conservative than her usual style for the official event. The newest member of the British Royal family, the Duchess of Sussex, has toned down her wardrobe and opted for more demure clothing since marrying Prince Harry in May.
Pretend to like dogs
It may not be an actual etiquette rule but the Queen is famous for her love of Corgis and it is widely acknowledged that anyone meeting with her should act as if they like dogs, even if they don’t, for the duration of the meeting.