Royal family ‘snub’ Donald Trump during UK visit
Tehran, Prince Charles and Prince William were unwilling to meet Donald Trump on his visit to Britain, leaving the Queen to greet the US president alone.
The first two in line to the throne let it be known during informal discussions about the arrangements for the president's four-day trip that they did not want to take part.
Downing Street and Buckingham Palace said Trump's tour was not a state visit and that the only plan drawn up involved the Queen greeting the president and his wife Melania alone. However, a well-placed source said senior courtiers discussed which royals to include and shared concerns about Charles's and William's reluctance to participate.
A well-placed source said Charles and William simply refused to attend
This business of Prince Charles and Prince William not being there for the Trump visit was a snub, the source said. They simply refused to attend. It's a very, very unusual thing for the Queen to be there on her own. Usually she is accompanied by somebody. Prince Charles has been substituting for Philip a lot recently.
Prince Philip, 97, has retired from royal duties, but the source said: He goes to what he wants to go to, and if he had wanted to be there he could have been.
Arriving for tea at Windsor Castle on Friday, the president failed to bow to the Queen and then walked in front of her when they were inspecting the guard.
Charles had meeting with Duchy Land Stewards followed by a Duchy reception at Highgrove. The Duke of Cambridge played in a charity polo match and the Duke of Sussex had private engagements.
One Whitehall official involved in the planning said Trump's time with the Queen was also kept to the bare minimum. He added: The Queen will do her duty, but among the wider family, they were not as enthusiastic as they were when Obama came over.
Even on working visits, such as Trump's last week, dignitaries expect to meet several members of the royal family. In 2016 Barack and Michelle Obama not only had lunch at Windsor Castle with the Queen and Prince Philip, they also had a private dinner at Kensington Palace with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
In April this year, the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, met the Queen, while Prince Charles hosted him at a science exhibition.
Last year it emerged that Trump was reluctant to meet Charles because of their divergent views on climate change.
His aides suggested a meeting with the younger royals but that did not happen, and plans for Prince Andrew to play golf with Trump were torn up.
A minister admitted that there was concern about the Trump trip in royal circles but denied that a formal invitation was rejected. They might have had a view that they were happy not to do it, but it is not true that it was on the cards and they refused to do it, he said.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had already decided not to invite Trump to their wedding. The duchess made several disparaging remarks about the US president before she was engaged to Harry.
A Buckingham Palace source said: This was not a state visit and the involvement of other members of the royal family would be different.
There was never any approach by the government or others, formally or informally, to Clarence House, Kensington Palace or the Duke of York's office.
Source: Sunday Times