It might not have been a state visit, but Donald Trump certainly looked very pleased to have met the Queen yesterday.
Posing for a photograph with Her Majesty and his wife Melania inside Windsor Castle in the Grand Corridor on their way to have tea in her private apartments, the US President’s broad smile signalled just how much he was enjoying having the red carpet rolled out for him.
He even got more time with the Queen than he was expecting: after all the pomp and ceremony of the welcome, he was only meant to have 30 minutes with her indoors, but instead it lasted for 48 minutes.
And how the red carpet was rolled out for him. Having flown into Windsor by helicopter, Mr and Mrs Trump arrived in the castle’s quadrangle by car via the George IV gate.
Queen Elizabeth II stands with US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, in the Grand Corridor during their visit to Windsor Castle in Berkshire
The Queen was already there waiting for him on a dais and wearing a blue coat, dress and hat by Angela Kelly – the same outfit she wore for the State Opening of Parliament, although the hat’s flowers had been replaced with a bow.
In fact, she arrived in the quadrangle 11 minutes before the President, the band striking up God Save The Queen as she stood and watched.
The Queen looked twice at her watch, leading to online speculation that Mr Trump was late and keeping her waiting, but he arrived at the time he was due to.
Home from home: A dog bowl believed to be used by the Queen’s corgis is tucked between the treasures at Windsor Castle
A Guard of Honour, formed of the Coldstream Guards, one of the British Army’s longest serving units, was already there too, waiting in the heat in their red tunics and bearskin hits.
There has been much speculation about how Mr Trump, who is famed for saying and acting exactly how he likes, might cope with the etiquette and protocol of meeting the Queen.
But yesterday he was on his best behaviour. As he got out of the Range Rover, he bowed his head. The First Lady did not curtsey, but royal watchers noted there is no obligation for her to do so.
Mr and Mrs Trump then joined the Queen on the dais. Her Majesty shook hands with them both. They stood either side of her, with both Mr and Mrs Trump placing their right hand on their heart, as the band of the Coldstream Guards played the US national anthem.
The Queen and Mr Trump then inspected the troops.
Well, the Queen, 92, did. Mr Trump did not seem to be paying too much attention to the soldiers, his gaze instead mostly fixed straight ahead as he walked at the monarch’s side along the front rank of troops, looking for all the world as though he was simply enjoying the sense of occasion. The Queen could at times be seen smiling as they chatted.
The Queen meets the President of the United States of America and Mrs Trump on Friday 13 July 2018 at Windsor Castle, Windsor
Mrs Trump remained on the dais with Admiral Sir James Perowne, the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle while the troops were inspected.
When the Queen and the President returned to the dais, there was a momentary mix-up in positioning when the Queen decided that Mr Trump was in the wrong place, but it was swiftly resolved as she directed him to perform a little shuffle so he was next to his wife.
The Trumps and the Queen then watched the military march past, before heading indoors, via the Sovereign’s Entrance, for tea in the Oak Room, a sitting room in the Queen’s private apartments.
An honour guard formed of soldiers of the Coldstream Guards during a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle
As they walked in, Mrs Trump lagged behind looking a little bit lost, but the Queen’s comptroller, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Andrew Ford, gallantly joined her for the walk into the castle.
There seemed to be subtle nods to Anglo-American relations throughout the welcome.
Mr Trump was also introduced at the entrance to a lady-in-waiting, the Countess of Airlie, who was born in America and whose husband David Ogilvy, the Earl of Airlie, is a former Lord Chamberlain.
The Coldstream Guards’ history is so long that that four of their battalions fought against the rebels in the American War of Independence, but nowadays, of course, they regularly train and serve alongside US forces, including in Afghanistan and Iraq.
U.S. President Donald Trump with Queen Elizabeth II, inspects the Guard of Honour at Windsor Castle in Windsor
Many Americans have a special place in their hearts for the band of the Coldstream Guards because after the 2001 terror attack on the World Trade Centre, the Queen requested they play the Star Spangled banner on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
It became a rallying point for Americans trapped in London because of the ban on flights, and the band was later invited to perform in New York.
Nor was the significance of the Grand Corridor lost on Royal experts. Constructed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville between 1824 and 1828 to provide access to the private apartments, it was George IV’s most extensive and novel addition to the castle. It has barely been changed since.
Nearly 150 yards long, it is lined with priceless paintings, marble busts mounted on pedestals and other objets d’art.
In an illustration that it’s a home as well as a royal castle, as the Trumps were photgraphed with the Queen a dog bowl could be seen tucked discreetly between some of the treasures.
It is believed to be used by the Queen’s two ‘dorgis’ – Dachshund-corgi crosses – Vulcan and Candy.
Three minutes short of an hour after their 5pm arrival at the castle, Mr and Mrs Trump left. Prince Philip, 97, who has retired from public life, was not expected to join the Queen as she met Mr Trump yesterday and he did not appear on the dais with them.
Outside the castle, and not audible from inside the quadrangle, protesters lined Castle Hill, which lead up to the castle’s visitor entrance. Emma Kennedy, 51, a writer, from Chobham, Surrey, held a placard which read, ‘Save our Queen from the fascist tangerine.’
US President Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II inspect a Guard of Honour
She said: ‘I decided to protest here rather than in London because this is the worst aspect of his visit. It’s an outrage that he is being allowed this great, great honour of meeting the Queen.
‘But I think it’s telling she’s only giving him a cup of tea not dinner.’
On the other side of the road, however, stood Trump supporters.
One, a retired businesswoman from the North of England, said: ‘I was up by the gates but when I got my welcome poster out the police told me to move for my own safety. It’s sad the Trump haters can force that.
‘I believe we need a Trump in this country. He’s a businessman and knows how to look after his people.’
The Queen has met 12 out of 13 US Presidents who have served during her reign, with President Lyndon Johnson being the only one she did not meet.
She has received three other Presidents and their wives at Windsor Castle in recent times – Barack Obama in 2016, George W Bush in 2008, and Ronald Reagan in 1982.