President Trump is in the United Kingdom for a working visit. The fact that it is a working visit and not a state visit is relevant. In a state visit, the president would be invited to stay at Buckingham Palace and would be treated to a state dinner and the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the Royal Family in such events.
Instead, the president and first lady were invited to tea with Her Highness The Queen at Windsor Castle. The president and first lady arrived at Windsor Castle, greeting the Queen. Donald Trump did not bow to the Queen, choosing to shake her hand instead. Similarly, Melania did not curtsy, she also shook The Queen’s hand.
The president broke with Royal etiquette when accompanying The Queen on a short walk inspecting the guard. President Trump can be seen walking ahead of The Queen as they inspect the guard. He can then be seen looking from side to side for The Queen. The Queen catches up with President Trump and walks alongside him on his right-hand side.
When the president realizes that The Queen was not next to him, he stopped to allow her to catch up. It is considered rude and improper to turn one’s back to The Queen. Richard Fitzwilliams is a royal correspondent. He said, “It was inappropriate behaviour”.
The president and first lady shared afternoon tea with The Queen in private. Grant Harrold is a former Royal Butler. He discussed how the Queen might signal to Trump when it is time for him to go. He explained:
“Even, an example, an investiture, when people go to receive that. The way that is done obviously so you don’t overrun. The way she offers her hand, and you take the Queen’s hand and she gives you a very gently push. That’s how you know you know your time is up. That is not going to happen here but the Queen very good at running the conversation down and making sure that he is escorted off the property.”
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) July 13, 2018