Sombre Donald Trump pays tribute to 'great, great' Queen who inspired the UK to 'defeat the enemy at all costs' with the US during WW2
DONALD Trump tonight hailed the Queen as a "great, great woman" who inspired Britain to win WW2 as he attended a glitzy Buckingham Palace state banquet.
The President celebrated his state visit to the UK with a formal dinner where he gave a speech to 170 handpicked guests including Prince Charles, William and Kate, and Theresa May.
Her Majesty also formally welcomed Mr Trump to Britain during tonight's banquet and paid tribute to Britain's D-day heroes 75 years on.
Prince Philip stayed away from the glittering event because he has now retired from royal duty.
And Prince Harry preferred to spend the evening with wife Meghan and their baby son Archie after a row over the Duchess of Sussex's previous criticism of the President.
The dinner capped a dramatic first day for Mr Trump's state visit:
- The President launched a furious rant at London Mayor Sadiq Khan – who hit back calling him "far right"
- Mr Trump promised a bumper trade deal for Britain once we quit the EU "shackles"
- He hailed the "fantastic" Queen after sharing lunch with the monarch
- Jeremy Corbyn revealed he will speak at tomorrow's mass anti-Trump protest
The Queen and the President formally opened tonight's state banquet by leading a procession into the Buckingham Palace
Speaking at the start of the dinner, both Mr Trump and the Queen made reference to the bond between Britain and the US which was forged during WW2.
Her Majesty said: "It would be no exaggeration to say that millions of lives depended on our common endeavour.
"As we face the new challenges of the 21st century, the anniversary of D-Day reminds us of all that our countries have achieved together."
She added: "Mr President, as we look to the future I'm confident that our common values and shared interest will continue to unite us. Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come."
The President paid tribute to the Queen's wartime work as a mechanic, saying: "In April 1945, newspapers featured a picture of the Queen Mother visiting the woman's branch of the army, watching a young woman repair a military truck engine.
"That young mechanic was the future Queen – a great, great woman.
"Her majesty inspired her compatriots in that fight to support the troops, defend her homeland, and defeat the enemy at all cost."
The affectionate Mr Trump appeared to break royal protocol as he briefly touched Her Majesty's back during his toast.
The two leaders looked "dignified and relaxed" as they shared a joke during the formal event, a body language expert told The Sun.
The guests – including senior politicians and leading figures from the worlds of business and culture – ate off silver dishes dating back to the Georgian era.
The President flew from Winfield House, the US ambassador's official home in North London, to the state banquet this evening.
Guests dined on halibut followed by Windsor lamb and a pudding of strawberry sable – a menu specially selected by Her Majesty on the advice of her expert chefs.
The Queen sat at the head of the table with Mr Trump on her right and Prince Charles on her left.
The Prince of Wales led in Melania Trump, with his wife Camilla accompanying ambassador Woody Johnson.
All four leading ladies donned white for the occasion – Kate in Alexander McQueen, Camilla in Bruce Oldfield, Melania in Dior and the Queen in Angela Kelly.
Other royals at the dinner included Prince Andrew, Edward and Sophie, Princess Anne and several of the Queen's cousins.
What was on the menu at Palace banquet?
Donald Trump ate Windsor lamb and strawberry sable at the Queen's state banquet.
In the Buckingham Palace ballroom, the US President, First Lady Melania Trump and four of Mr Trump's five children feasted on halibut with watercress mousse, asparagus spears and chervil sauce.
They then tucked into a saddle of new season Windsor lamb, with herb stuffing, spring vegetables and port sauce, before enjoying pudding and coffee.
The guests were able to drink a 2014 English sparkling Windsor Great Park, a £1,400-a-bottle claret 1990 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Hambledon Classic Rose and a 1985 Churchill's Port.
But Mr Trump is teetotal and prefers to stick to water – or Diet Coke.
The menu in full:
- Steamed fillet of halibut with watercress mousse, asparagus spears and chervil sauce
- Saddle of new season Windsor lamb with herb stuffing, spring vegetables, port sauce
- Strawberry sable with lemon verbena cream
- Selection of assorted fresh fruits
- Coffee and petit fours
All four of the President's adult children – Ivanka, Donald Jr, Eric and Tiffany – also attended the Buckingham Palace banquet.
Mrs May sat between the Duke of Cambridge and Suzanne Ircha, wife of the ambassador .
Other politicians in attendance included leadership rivals Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove – but not Mr Trump's close pals Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, who were both left off the guestlist.
Cabinet ministers including Philip Hammond, David Lidington, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox were also at the banquet.
Labour politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan boycotted the occasion in protest against Mr Trump being given a state visit.
The enormous horseshoe-shaped table was decorated with 23 floral displays, and took four full days to prepare.
Earlier today, Mr Trump was met with an 82-gun salute as he touched down at Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen.
The President and his family were greeted with full pomp and ceremony when his helicopter landed on the lawn this afternoon for the official start of his three-day tour.
The Queen hosted lunch for Mr Trump and wife Melania, then led them on a tour of Buckingham Palace this afternoon.
The First Couple moved on to Westminster Abbey later, to place a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Warrior.
Then they had tea with Charles and Camilla at Clarence House, home of the Prince of Wales.
The President landed at Stansted airport this morning at around 9am for a three-day trip, having already humiliated outgoing PM Theresa May over Brexit.
Ahead of his landing he began tweeting insults at Sadiq Khan, calling him a "stone cold loser" and urging him to "focus on crime in London, not me".
He added: "Kahn (sic) reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height.
"In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!"
Kate's regal jewellery for the state banquet
Kate Middleton, 37, wore a mix of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother's favourite jewels to this evening's lavish State Banquet.
She chose the Lover's Knot tiara – one of Princess Diana's favoured pieces, given to her by the Queen as a wedding gift in 1981. Kate first wore it in 2016, and again in 2018 at a State Banquet .
Despite opting not to wear it on her wedding day, Diana loved this headpiece – which went back into the Queen’s collection after her death.
Kate most recently wore it in December, for a royal reception hosting 1,000 guests in honour of the families of military personnel.
The Duchess also wore the Queen Mother's Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Earrings as she attended the event with the Duke of Cambridge.
Tomorrow is earmarked for political activities as Mr Trump visits 10 Downing Street for talks and a joint press conference with Mrs May – despite the fact she's leaving office within weeks.
The PM will give the President a tour of the famous Churchill War Rooms, buried beneath Westminster, with leading historians who will explain the significance of the space.
She has asked a leading chef to cook lunch for the pair, The Sun can reveal.
But today it emerged the two leaders won't have any one-on-one meetings without aides present, unlike on most official trips.
Before even boarding Air Force One back in the US, Trump praised Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage and suggested he may meet them both.
While stopping short of offering his full endorsement, Trump told The Sun: "I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent.”
He said he expected to meet with Mr Johnson in London as he left the White House on Sunday evening.
Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to demonstrate against the US President and fly the Trump blimp, which depicts the leader as a baby.
Queen and President's state banquet speeches in full on historic occasion
The Queen said:
I am delighted to welcome you and Mrs Trump to Buckingham Palace this evening, just twelve months after our first meeting at Windsor Castle. Visits by American Presidents always remind us of the close and longstanding friendship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and I am so glad that we have another opportunity to demonstrate the immense importance that both our countries attach to our relationship.
In the coming days, you will see some of our most treasured historical buildings, speak to the business leaders whose expertise and innovation drive our economies, and meet members of our Armed Services, past and present. You will also travel to Portsmouth and Normandy to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.
On that day – and on many occasions since – the Armed Forces of both our countries fought side-by-side to defend our cherished values of liberty and democracy. Mr President, in your State of the Union Address this year, you paid tribute to some of the American heroes who risked their lives, and we owe an immeasurable debt to the British, American and Allied soldiers who began the liberation of Europe on 6th June 1944.
I paid my first State Visit to your country at the invitation of President Eisenhower. As Supreme Allied Commander, he had ultimate responsibility for the execution of the Normandy landings. In his headquarters in St James’s Square – not far from Buckingham Palace – British and American officers worked closely together to plan the freedom of a continent, and it would be no exaggeration to say that millions of lives depended on their common endeavour.
As we face the new challenges of the Twenty First Century, the anniversary of D-Day reminds us of all that our countries have achieved together. After the shared sacrifices of the Second World War, Britain and the United States worked with other allies to build an assembly of international institutions, to ensure that the horrors of conflict would never be repeated. While the world has changed, we are forever mindful of the original purpose of these structures: nations working together to safeguard a hard won peace.
Of course, it is not only our security which unites us; but our strong cultural links and shared heritage. Every year, there are almost four million visits by Americans to the United Kingdom, with a great number claiming British descent. And with your own Scottish ancestry, Mr President, you too have a particular connection to this country.
We are also bound by the strength and breadth of our economic ties, as the largest investors in each other’s economies. British companies in the United States employ over one million Americans, and the same is true vice versa.
Mr President, as we look to the future, I am confident that our common values and shared interests will continue to unite us. Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I invite you all to rise and drink a toast to President and Mrs Trump, to the continued friendship between our two nations, and to the health, prosperity and happiness of the people of the United States.
Donald Trump replied:
Your Majesty, Melania and I are profoundly honoured to be your guests for this historic state visit.
Thank you for your warm welcome, for this beautiful weather, your gracious hospitality, and your majesty's nearly seven decades of treasured friendship with the United States of America.
This week, we commemorate a mighty endeavour of righteous nations and one of the greatest undertakings in all of history. 75 years ago, more than 150,000 allied troop were preparing on this island to parachute into France, storm the beaches of Normandy, and win back our civilisation.
As Her Majesty remembers, the British people had hoped and prayed and fought for this day for nearly five years.
When Britain stood alone during the blitz of 1940 and 1941, the Nazi war machine dropped thousands of bombs on this country, and right on this magnificent city.
Buckingham Palace alone was bombed on 16 separate occasions.
In that dark hour, the people of this nation showed the world what it means to be British.
They cleared wreckage from the streets, displayed the union jack from their shattered homes and kept fighting on to victory. They only wanted victory.
The courage of the United Kingdom's sons and daughters ensured that your destiny would always remain in your own hands.
Through it all, the royal family was the resolute face of the commonwealth's unwavering solidarity.
In April 1945, newspapers featured a picture of the queen mother visiting the woman's branch of the army, watching a young woman repair a military truck engine.
That young mechanic was the future Queen, a great, great woman.
Her Majesty inspired her compatriots in that fight to support the troops, defend her homeland, and defeat the enemy at all cost.
We also pay tribute to Prince Philip's distinguished and valiant service in the royal Navy during the second world War.
On D-day, the queen's beloved father, King George VI delivered a stirring national address.
That day he said, after nearly five years of toil and suffering, we must renew that crusading impulse on which we entered the war and met its darkest hour.
Our fight is against evil and for a world in which goodness and honur may be the foundation of the life of men in every land. This evening, we thank God for the brave sons of the United Kingdom and the United States who defeated the Nazis and the Nazi regime and liberated millions from tyranny.
The bond between our nations was forever sealed in that great crusade.
As we honour our shared victory and heritage, we affirm the common values that will unite us long into future.
Freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, the rule of law and reference for the rights given to us by almighty god.
From the Second World War to today, her majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these priceless traditions.
She has embodied the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart.
On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people. the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty the Queen.
Queen's special gifts for visiting President
THE Queen gave Donald Trump a Churchill book today to mark his state visit to Britain.
Her Majesty handed the President a first edition of The Second World War, written by the WW2-era Prime Minister.
The crimson book features gold decoration on the cover, spine and inner cover, the Queen's initials in gold on the front, silk endpapers and hand-sewn headbands in colours of the US flag.
Churchill was half-American and Mr Trump keeps a bust of him on his desk in the White House.
The Queen also gave the President a special set of pens made exclusively for her.
And for Melania Trump, the monarch provided a specially commissioned silver box with a handcrafted enamel lid.
Its royal blue decoration featured roses, thistles and shamrocks to represent the ceiling of the Buckingham Palace music room.
Trump is protected by his motorcade – headed up by his £1.2million Beast limo – and helicopters during his visit.
On Wednesday Mrs May is expected to travel to Southsea Common in Portsmouth with Trump to attend the D-Day anniversary events.
In a sign at how deeply Mr Trump values the honour of his state visit and being hosted by the Queen, he is bringing all four of his grown-up children and their spouses to share the experience.
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