Did Donald Trump break protocol by shaking hands with the Queen?

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  • And how did she react?

    Donald Trump met Queen Elizabeth last Friday, a highlight of his first official visit to the United Kingdom as President.

    But unlike past political leaders, Queen Elizabeth met with Donald and Melania Trump solo, with Prince Charles and Prince William reportedly choosing not to meet the 72-year-old.


    ‘It’s a very, very unusual thing for the Queen to be there on her own,’ a source explained to The Sunday Times. ‘Usually she is accompanied by somebody. This business of Prince Charles and Prince William not being there for the Trump visit was a snub.’

    But it wasn’t the lack of royal family members that got the world talking about the state visit. It instead was the greeting, with Trump giving the monarch his signature handshake.

    The US president is known for his awkward handshakes, supposedly using a specific power play routine to dominate his counterparts. But with world leaders and figures of authority, his skills seem to fall apart – from giving Theresa May’s hand a few too many clumsy taps to his worst handshake on record with poor Shinzo Abe, where he uncomfortably shook the bewildered Japanese Prime Minister’s hand for a whopping 19 seconds.

    Justin Trudeau handshake

    It wasn’t his skills that caused uproar in Windsor however, it was the fact that he and First Lady Melania hadn’t offered a bow or a curtsy instead, with many claiming he had broken royal protocol.

    But is this the case? Actually, no.

    While we’re sure the Queen would have preferred a bow from a safe distance, it seems that the greeting is more of a tradition than a rule.

    ‘There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family,’ states the royal family’s official website. ‘But many people wish to observe the traditional forms.’

    ‘For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.’

    So he didn’t break protocol – well that’s surprising.

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