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July 14, 2018

Trump meeting Queen rankles with many Britons


July 14, 2018

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes US President Donald Trump to Windsor Castle on Friday for a meeting which many Britons find the toughest part of his trip to swallow.

Trump was gracious about the British sovereign in a newspaper interview out on Friday. However, his previous comments about the royals have been less tactful, including boasting he would have slept with Diana, princess of Wales "without even hesitation", and saying "who wouldn’t" photograph the Duchess of Cambridge topless.

Some 1.86 million people signed a petition at the June 2017 general election, wanting to prevent Trump from making a state visit "because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen".

His four-day trip to Britain is not a state visit -- with the formal trappings of a carriage procession and certain banquets -- but it bears many of the hallmarks, including time with the head of state.

A YouGov poll of 1,648 British adults conducted on Monday and Tuesday found that half thought Trump’s working visit to Britain should go ahead, with just over a third thinking it should be cancelled.

However, the meeting with 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth on his first visit to Britain as US president still seems to rankle. Just one in three (35 percent) thought the monarch should meet Trump, as opposed to half (49 percent) who thought she should not.

Trump will be treated with a guard of honour when he arrives at Windsor Castle, west of London. The Coldstream Guards will give a royal salute and play the US national anthem. The two heads of state will inspect the guard before watching them march past, in the castle’s quadrangle.

The Trumps will then take tea with Queen Elizabeth. "For so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake. You don’t see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman," Trump told The Sun newspaper. "My wife is a tremendous fan of hers. She has got a great and beautiful grace about her."

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