Why Didn’t Donald And Melania Trump Bow Or Curtsy When They Met Queen Elizabeth?

Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, enjoyed an official visit to the U.K. this week, and royal watchers found it curious that the couple failed to bow or curtsy when greeting Queen Elizabeth II. Instead of following royal tradition in the presence of Her Majesty, Trump simply offered her a handshake.

Queen Elizabeth greets Donald and Melania Trump
Queen Elizabeth greets President of the United States, Donald Trump and First Lady, Melania Trump | Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Why didn’t Trump or Melania follow royal tradition with Queen Elizabeth?

As it turns out, bowing or curtsying is not mandatory when meeting Queen Elizabeth. These traditional forms of greeting are encouraged but not required by the royal family. Men are usually the ones who bow while women curtsy.

Fortunately, it did not look like Queen Elizabeth was bothered by the move. Not only did she shake hands with Trump without missing a beat, but she even managed a smile.

With the initial greetings out of the way, the Trumps met with Prince Charles inside Buckingham Palace before attending a private lunch with multiple members of the royal family. Aside from Charles and the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward were all in attendance at the event. Trump was only scheduled to remain in London for three days before departing the country. He has not commented on why he chose a handshake over bowing.

Royals deny Trump a photograph

Although Trump was photographed with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, other members of the family avoided a photo op. According to Express, Trump desperately wanted to take a photo with the younger members of the royal family, including Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle.

Sources believe that Trump wanted to use the photographs as part of his upcoming campaign for the 2020 presidential election. Harry and Markle are enormously popular in the United States, so snapping a joyful picture with them would have pleased Trump to no end.

But they all denied Trump the one thing he wanted to get out of the trip to the U.K. Although William and Harry attended private events with Trump, Queen Elizabeth and his family, they never got close enough in public for a photo opportunity.

This may have been just coincidence, but some royal watchers believe it was intentional. Markle, of course, skipped out on all the events because she is still on maternity leave. The former actress welcomed her first child with Harry a few weeks ago.

Trump calls Markle nasty

To add another layer of complexity to Trump’s visit with Queen Elizabeth, he recently drew criticism for making disparaging remarks about Markle. After hearing what Markle said about Trump during the 2016 presidential election, Trump called her “nasty,” a term he frequently used for Hillary Clinton.

As royal watchers may recall, Markle said some negative things about Trump amid what was a heated presidential election. In light of the backlash, Trump later clarified his comments and claimed that he was referring to Markle’s remarks as being nasty, not her.

Given Trump’s comments, many fans thought that Harry was completely avoiding him throughout the state visit. This certainly could be true, but we will be hard pressed to hear anything about it from the royal family.

Trump later revealed that he chatted with Harry during a banquet and complimented him for being such a good guy. Harry has yet to say anything about Trump’s visit or his comments towards Markle.

Inside Trump’s U.K. visit

Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family aside, Trump had a packed schedule during his tour of the U.K. After rubbing elbows with members of the royal family, Trump with the prime minister, Theresa May, in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Although he complimented May, Trump bashed the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and started some fires by mentioning Britain’s National Health Service. Trump left the U.K. on Wednesday night and is currently in Ireland. From there, he is scheduled to visit France and observe a ceremony on Normandy beach.

Trump has not commented on his inability to snag a photograph with members of the royal family, outside of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles The visit marks Trump’s first official state trip to the U.K. since taking office.