The royal family has put on politely brave faces while diplomatically meeting with the Trump retinue during their state visit to Great Britain, despite the rancor caused by the president’s massive breach of protocol in labeling Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and wife of Prince Harry, as “nasty.”
Their politeness can only go so far, however, and they managed to eke out a modicum of revenge for President Trump’s ill-advised insult by denying the image and publicity-obsessed president the one thing he wanted the most out of his trip, according to an article at The Daily Beast — a photo op with the popular and glamorous Princes Harry and William and with William’s wife, Kate Middleton.
Since President Trump’s comments about the bi-racial American-born Duchess were reported — comments that Trump denied ever saying despite his words being captured on a widely-circulated recording — Meghan Markle’s husband Prince Harry has kept as much distance as possible from the visiting president while still participating in the formal ceremonies of the state visit.
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Indeed, photos of Prince Harry — sixth in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom — while accompanying the American presidential delegation in the diplomatic pageantry arranged for Trump’s visit show him keeping his distance from the president and maintaining a stoic and not particularly happy demeanor.
Prince Harry is like “Nuh uh gonna keep my distance from thr creep who said my wife is nasty and that he could have nailed my mother.” pic.twitter.com/VhgCLQB6mP
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) June 3, 2019
Harry also pointedly bowed out of attending the lavish state banquet thrown in Trump’s honor last night in what was widely interpreted as a deliberate rebuff to the president over his distasteful behavior towards his wife.
While the suppressed rancor from Prince Harry is perfectly understandable given Trump’s verbal maltreatment of his wife, the support that his brother Prince William has given by also studiously avoiding a photo-op with Trump and his family is the bigger snub to the president.
As second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, William, along with his glamorous wife, is usually an active participant in any diplomatic niceties. Their placement at the state banquet — seated far from President Trump — telegraphed the chilly relationship between Prince William and the American president.
Despite the obvious signs of tension, Trump himself reportedly cares deeply about how he is perceived by the British royal family. According to The Daily Beast:
“Two people close to the president said that on multiple occasions he’s complained privately about a media narrative that he believes portrays the British royal family as hating Trump and not wanting to spend time with him while he’s in town. ‘The president thinks that it’s “fake news” trying to make it look like they don’t like him personally, when really [he feels that] they do love Trump,’ one of these sources said,” the web site reports.
“For instance, The Times reported last year that ‘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.’”
“Further, a Whitehall official told The Times that the queen’s meeting last year with President Trump was ‘kept to the bare minimum. The Queen will do her duty, but among the wider family, they were not as enthusiastic as they were when [President Barack] Obama came over,’ The Daily Beast writes.”
While Trump may delude himself with the belief that the massive crowds in the streets of London are there to praise him rather than loudly protest his presence in their country, the animosity he’s generated in the U.K. reaches to the highest levels of the kingdom’s aristocracy. Trump may want to be a king, but the real royals know better than to accept him as their equal.
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Original reporting by Tom Sykes and Asawin Suebsaeng at The Daily Beast.