Trump takes tea with the Queen... and praises her ‘beautiful grace’
President tells The Sun Johnson should be PM Brexit plan ‘would kill free trade with the US’
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has been welcomed by the Queen to Windsor Castle as the official part of his whirlwind visit to the UK drew to a close.
The Queen greeted the US leader and First Lady Melania Trump in the quadrangle of the Royal residence – a home to kings and queens for centuries.
Waiting to be inspected by Mr Trump was a guard of honour, formed by one of the Army’s longest-serving units, the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, in their red tunics and bearskins.
Ahead of the meeting between the heads of state, Mr Trump spoke of his admiration for the Queen.
He said: “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.”
During the Queen’s 66year reign there have been 13 American presidents, from Harry S Truman to Mr Trump, and she has now met all of them except one, Lyndon B Johnson.
Later, Mr and Mrs Trump took tea with the Queen in the castle’s Oak Room, where in 2016 she hosted tea for the then US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. In 2008, when then-President George W Bush had tea with the Queen at Windsor, he enjoyed a traditional English afternoon spread of tea, small sandwiches and cakes in the White Drawing Room.
The Band of the Coldstream Guards and the Band of the Grenadier Guards played the US national anthem when Mr Trump and his wife arrived, and the guard of honour gave a Royal salute. The day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Band of the Coldstream Guards played the Star-Spangled Banner on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace as a mark of respect. Permission was granted by the Queen for America’s national anthem to be played during the changing of the guard ceremony.
My wife is a tremendous fan of (the Queen). She has a beautiful grace. US president Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP apologised to Theresa May over an incendiary interview criticising her premiership, and hailed UK-US relations as the “highest level of special”.
After intensive talks at Chequers, an emollient US president showered praise on the “incredible” Prime Minister and said she was “doing a fantastic job”.
The meeting took place in the wake of an explosive newspaper interview in which he said the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans would kill off a trade deal with America and Boris Johnson would be a “great prime minister”.
At a press conference later in the grounds of the PM’s country residence, Mr Trump insisted he “didn’t criticise” the Prime Minister and hit out at “fake news”.
The US president told Mrs May “whatever you do is OK with me” on Brexit, but urged her to “make sure we can trade together”.
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in central London to denounce the visit for stoking “division along fault lines of fear and hatred”.
But well away from the noisy demonstrations, Mr Trump and Mrs May took questions from reporters.
The president said Mrs May “can’t walk away” from exit talks with the European Union, though suggested she could use other methods to secure a good deal.
Mr Trump said he had given the PM a suggestion about how to come out on top in the talks but “she found it maybe too brutal”.
But he praised Mrs May as a “very tough negotiator” and described her as an “incredible woman” who is “doing a fantastic job”.
“She’s a very smart, very tough, very capable person and I would much rather have her as my friend than my enemy, that I can tell you,” he added.
The US president left Mrs May badly wounded when he criticised her negotiating style, lavished praise on Boris Johnson and attacked her Brexit plan in an interview with The Sun. Mr Trump said he would have carried out the Brexit negotiations “much differently” and claimed the Prime Minister did not listen to his advice.
He said: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.
“If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”
He went on to say Mr Johnson, who quit as Foreign Secretary over the Chequers plan, was “a great representative for your country”.
Mr Trump said he apologised to Mrs May over The Sun frontpage story, and she replied: “Don’t worry it’s only the press.” But he repeated his praise of Mr Johnson, saying: “Boris Johnson, I think, would be a great prime minister.”
Mrs May said it was “all of our responsibility to ensure that transatlantic unity endures”.
The PM said the United States is “keen” to do a deal with the UK. “We will do a trade deal with them and with others around the rest of the world,” she added.
Mr Trump is meeting the Queen, who he called a “tremendous woman”, at Windsor Castle.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he did not feel Britain should be “rolling out the red carpet” to Mr Trump. “Whatever the decision the Queen decides to take about whether to invite him to tea or not, and what advice the Prime Minister gives on that, is between them, I don’t know what went on. But personally, I don’t think we should have been rolling out the red carpet for Donald Trump.
“We should be having meetings with the US government, the administration, as we always should, as we should with every other government in the world. We have to relate to other governments, but you’ve got to be clear what you’re doing.
“Are we rolling out the red carpet uncritically or saying, hang on, there are issues where we fundamentally disagree? It’s a very strange thing to do, to come on a visit to another country, to meet that country’s prime minister, and then announce that you would like to see as her successor a person who’s just resigned from her Government.”
She’s a very smart, very tough, very capable person. President Trump tries to repair the damage by praising Prime Minister Theresa May.
ROYAL SALUTE: President Donald Trump inspects a guard of honour during his meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle.
HANDS ACROSS THE OCEAN: US president Donald Trump gets to grips with the special relationship and Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a joint press conference at Chequers, her country residence in Buckinghamshire.
FLAG DAY: Surrounded by flags, the two leaders meet in Chequers; a cartoon baby blimp of President Donald Trump is flown by protesters in Parliament Square in London,