It’s no secret that Donald Trump and his antics are currently wreaking more than a bit of havoc on the United States Presidency and the government. From poorly thought out legislation to full-out Twitter wars, every day something new seems to surface out of Washington, D.C. However, for the next few years (or until the Mueller investigation is concluded), it looks like we will all have to hunker down and deal with Trump and his family.
Still, it’s not just American citizens who are being forced to bear with Trump. Our British allies, particularly the royal family, have also had to interact with Trump and his family. Since the royals are obviously posh, dapper, and super polite, they have done nothing but remain gracious to the Trumps. However, in a recent photo with first lady Melania Trump, Prince Harry seems more than a little off balance.
Here is the story behind that horrifying picture (check it out on page 5!).
The Invictus Games
In October 2017, Prince Harry and his wife-to-be, Suits actress Meghan Markle, attended the Prince’s annual international adaptive multi-sport event.
First created in 2014, Prince Harry’s organization invites wounded, injured, or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans to take part in sports. In 2017, the Invictus Games were held in Toronto.
Next: Keeping a tradition alive
A traditional opening ceremony
As former first lady Michelle Obama did in 2016, Melania Trump attended the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games. It was Trump’s first international trip as first lady.
She said that she had an “amazing day.”
Next: An awkward photo-op that goes viral
An awkward photo-op
Upon arriving at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto, Trump and Prince Harry posed for a photo, which turned out to be less than stellar.
In the photo, Prince Harry stands near the first lady for the photo. However, he is making a very odd gesture with his left hand, as you can see on the following page.
Next: Here’s the picture that sparked controversy.
Prince Harry’s hand gesture in the photo was so strange that many began calling it the “devil’s horn.”
One Twitter user even took it super far saying, “Prince #Harry’s hand signal harkens back to Middle Ages – indicates that he believes the Devil’s concubine is in the room. #FLOTUS45.”
That seems more than a bit extreme to us.
Next: Here’s a much more reasonable explanation.
A sign of self-comfort
The photo and speculation behind the red-headed prince’s hand spread across the internet like wildfire. Body language expert Patti Wood had another theory behind Prince Harry’s hand gesture.
This is called the horn or the devil’s horn, and what people are saying in the media about it is not correct. It is not a sign that he’s the devil, but rather a warning off of evil spirits. It’s a protective gesture against evil or darkness and illness. I’ve seen world leaders in photo shoots with Trump, and I see a lot of what are called self-comfort cues. This would be considered one of those. It looks like the devil’s horn but it is also hand to belly. At the very least it would be a comfort cue, and show a lot of tension and a need to protect his central core.
Next: The real deal and how photos can lie
The real deal
CNN reporter Kate Bennett, who is also a White House correspondent and followed the Obamas and now Mrs. Trump, finally gave us the real backstory behind the very uncomfortable photo.
Bennett told The Daily Front Row that “[Prince Harry] was reaching in to unbutton his coat to sit down, but the cameras kept clicking so he still had his hand in there in that weird way. He was pausing. He wasn’t throwing a secret gang sign. They got held up in the pictures.”
Yeah, not as exciting an explanation as we had hoped.
Next: The first lady and the prince got along quite well.
A White House invitation
Despite the less than stellar photo of the first lady in her Dior pantsuit standing with Prince Harry, it seems that the duo got along quite well. Melania Trump even invited the Prince of Wales to the White House.
We wonder if he’ll take her up on the invitation. After all, while the royal and the first lady seem to get along fine, the relationship between him and Donald Trump seems a little more strained.
Next: Why the royals’ relationship with Donald Trump isn’t great
Tensions are already high between Trump and Britain
Maybe the U.K. government would feel differently if Trump’s relationship with Britain wasn’t already strained. The London mayor wants to keep Trump from an official state visit, and the parliament debated banning him from Britain (prior to his presidency). On top of all this, British Prime Minister Theresa May personally called him out when he retweeted anti-Islam videos.
It is wrong for the president to have done this. Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents — decency, tolerance, and respect.
Next: Harry’s soon-to-be wife had strong words to describe Trump.
Markle has condemned Trump’s behavior in the past
Markle has already voiced in the past that she isn’t a fan of Trump. As a guest on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore in May 2016, Markle was asked how she felt about Trump running for president. She referred to the then-candidate as “divisive” and “misogynistic” and even explained why she was happy her show Suits is filmed in Canada.
She expressed, “It’s really the moment that I go, we film Suits in Toronto and I might just stay in Canada. I mean come on, if that’s reality we are talking about, come on, that is a game changer in terms of how we move in the world here.”
Now that Markle is about to be royal, she won’t be allowed to share her political opinions. However, she’s already said enough to prove just how she feels about the current president.
Next: Prince Harry and Donald Trump will probably never have a connection like this.
Prince Harry and Obama are good friends
If you take politics out of the equation, Prince Harry and former-President Obama seem to be genuine friends. They’ve been seen laughing together on the sidelines of the Invictus Games, and have proven their humor fits together seamlessly.
In a recent BBC interview, the two were throwing jokes back and forth at one another. They laughed about British accents and Harry giving Obama “the face,” and it was adorable.
Next: Do the royal family and the Obamas just have more in common?
The royal family and the Obamas have shared interests
Besides the friendly rapport of the BBC interview, it proved even further that Prince Harry and Obama have the same interests in mind. According to Kensington Palace, the interview involved conversation regarding “shared interest in building platforms for the next generation of young leaders.” Obama also shared “memories of the day he left office and his hopes for his post-presidential life.”
However, this wasn’t the first time they’ve joined together for similar discussion. In May 2017, the royal family had Obama as a guest at Kensington Palace. They discussed topics such as “support for veterans, mental health, conservation, empowering young people, and the work of their respective foundations.”
Next: Obama uses Twitter for positive messages.
Obama congratulated Prince Harry and Markle, but Trump did not
Trump wasn’t exactly willing to extend his congratulations to Harry and Markle on their engagement, anyway. While the president tweeted nothing, Obama sent a sweet message to the royal couple. He tweeted, “Michelle and I are delighted to congratulate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their engagement. We wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness together.”
Additional reporting by Chelsea Leary.
Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!