donald trump meeting the queen

Why President Trump and wife Melania didn't bow and curtsy to the Queen

Trump has begun his controversial three-day visit

Ainhoa Barcelona

President Trump and the First Lady were welcomed by the Queen with a grand ceremony at Buckingham Palace Garden on Monday. The highly anticipated moment was captured on camera and one detail that royal watchers picked up on was the way the Trumps greeted Her Majesty.

While fans are used to seeing members of the royal family and other dignitaries bow and curtsy to the Queen, President Trump and his wife Melania opted for a handshake instead. Last summer on their official visit, the Trumps chose to greet the monarch in the same way.

The Trumps greeted the Queen with a handshake

According to the royal family's official website, there are, in fact, "no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the Queen or a member of the royal family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms". The guideline notes: "For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way."

MORE: Follow our live updates of Trump's first day in the UK

Looking back on former President Barack and Michelle Obama's state visit in 2011, neither he nor his wife bowed or curtsied to the Queen – instead, both opted for a handshake.

Video: Donald Trump meets the Queen

President Trump and Melania touched down at Stansted Airport on Monday morning, before boarding a helicopter to take them to the US ambassador's official residence in London, Winfield House in Regent's Park, where the Trumps are staying. The couple then travelled via car to Buckingham Palace for the ceremonial welcome. Visitors of Her Majesty would usually stay at the palace but because of renovations, the Trumps will be hosted by US ambassador Woody Johnson.

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They were welcomed by Prince Charles and Camilla

Later on Monday, the Trumps will have a private lunch with the Queen and Prince Harry before viewing a special exhibition in the Picture Gallery, where they will be shown items of historical significance to the US from the Royal Collection. In the afternoon, Prince Andrew will take President Trump and Melania to Westminster Abbey for a short tour and to lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. The US couple will then be treated to afternoon tea at Clarence House with Charles and Camilla, before the big event of the evening – a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

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