US President Donald Trump has arrived at Windsor Castle for tea with the Queen.
The controversial American leader and the First Lady were treated to a Guard of Honour as they arrived at the historic royal residence in Berkshire, which is the Queen’s favourite home.
Trump did not bow as he shook hands briefly with the Queen on the dais, and First Lady Melania Trump did not curtsy as she shook the head of state’s white gloved hand.
The monarch smiled broadly and shared a few words with the Trumps before indicating they should stand either side of her for the military band’s rendition of the American national anthem.
Trump and the First Lady spent a total of 57 minutes with the Queen at the castle, and 47 of those minutes inside the monarch’s favourite residence. The Trumps stayed 17 minutes longer than their expected departure time.
Trump has spoken at length of his admiration for the Queen, most recently in his interview with the Sun on Thursday, in which he called her a “tremendous woman”.
He told the paper: “If you think of it, for so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake. You don’t see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman.
“My wife is a tremendous fan of hers. She has got a great and beautiful grace about her.”
In 2008, when then US president George W Bush had tea with the monarch at Windsor, he enjoyed a traditional English afternoon spread of tea, small sandwiches and cakes in the White Drawing Room.
The Queen has received three other US Presidents at Windsor Castle since the 1980s – Barack Obama in 2016, Mr Bush in 2008 and Ronald Reagan in 1982.
Trump’s royal encounter is not a state visit – an offer that was extended to him by Prime Minister Theresa May in the early days of his presidency.
There will be no carriage procession and no opulent state banquet, and Buckingham Palace said no other members of the royal family will call in to Windsor to meet the billionaire-turned-politician.
When the then US president Barack Obama dropped in to see the Queen at Windsor Castle in 2016 – the day after her 90th birthday – he and Michelle Obama had lunch with the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh in the castle’s private dining room.
Philip, who has now retired from public duties, even took the responsibility of driving the Obamas, and the Queen, the short distance from their helicopter to the castle in the Queen’s Range Rover.
In the evening, the Obamas dined with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at Kensington Palace, and Prince George stayed up late to meet them.
Obama carried out a state visit to the UK in 2011, as did George W Bush in 2003.
Ronald Reagan’s visit to Windsor in 1982 was also not a state visit but, unlike Trump, he was hosted with a glittering banquet for 160 guests in the castle’s St George’s Hall.