POLITICS

Theresa May To Present Donald Trump With A Scottish 'Loving Cup'

A symbol of their new 'special relationship'

25/01/2017 23:39 GMT | Updated 25/01/2017 23:41 GMT
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Theresa May is to present Donald Trump with a traditional Scottish friendship drinking bowl - also known as a “loving cup”.

When the two of them meet at the White House formally for the first time, the Prime Minister will hand over the US President a “Quaich”.

The silver two-handed cup, which is used as a sporting trophy but also in weddings, is a nod to Trump’s Scottish roots.

Prized by ancient clan chiefs as a token of hospitality, they were used originally as drinking vessels but became symbols of friendship.

They are also used as a ceremonial present in weddings, topped up with whisky, usually by the bride, and then passed around for the wedding party to sip once the legal proceedings have been concluded.

Andrew Milligan/PA Archive
Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond sipping whisky from a Quaich

When presented as a prize in the Highland sport of ‘shinty’, and in choir competitions, the quaich is sometimes filled with a tipple by winning teams and shared around.

But Trump is the first teetotal President since Jimmy Carter, not having touched alcohol for more than 35 years.

May will also present a hamper to his wife Melania, with a range of produce including apple juice from her official country mansion at Chequers, English damson jam and marmalade, as well as Bakewell tarts and cranberry and white chocolate shorties.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Theresa May

Gift-giving between US Presidents and British Prime Ministers is often a tricky diplomatic exercise.

Tony Blair presented George W Bush with a bronze bust of Winston Churchill, only to see Barack Obama remove it from the Oval Office later.

Gordon Brown spent much thought and energy on an ornamental pen-holder that was made from the timbers of a Victorian anti-slavery ship. But in return he only got a box of 25 DVDs of ‘classic’ American movies.