Donald Trump and wife Melania were all smiles as they arrived at Windsor Castle for tea with the Queen on Friday.
The monarch, 92, who has welcomed several presidents to the royal residence over the years including Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, met the U.S President and the First Lady at the dais in the Quadrangle of the Castle, where a Guard of Honour formed of the Coldstream Guards gave a royal salute, and the US National Anthem was played.
The group then inspected the Guard of Honour and watched the military march past before heading inside for tea at the castle.
The president wore a suit and tie and the first lady wore a pale pink Dior suit with matching skirt and black belt for the occasion. Meanwhile, the Queen was dressed in a royal blue suit with a matching hat sporting her signature black handbag and white gloves.
During the meeting, which was aired live on TV, Trump and Melania walked to meet the Queen where they shook hands before engaging in small talk. And while the greeting looked polite, some viewers were left shocked that Trump and his wife had not bowed to the Queen.
“Hmmm. A handshake. This is not how one traditionally greets the Queen. Could they not have taught Trump protocol? No?” One commentator wrote.
Another added: “So disrespectful that neither @realDonaldTrump or @MELANIATRUMP curtsied or even bowed their head to the Queen.”
But did the couple really break any rules? 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.
While it was the Trump’s first meeting with Queen Elizabeth, it’s not their first royal encounter. Trump has met with Prince Charles previously, while Melania met with Prince Harry during the Invictus Games in Canada in 2016.
The president’s visit to the UK has had a mixed reaction from the public, with thousands taking to the streets in London in protest of his visit. While the BBC reports there is extra security in place, Trump said Britons “like me a lot” and that he feels “fine” about the many protests in place.