Did Princes Charles & William Snub Trump? Buckingham Palace Wants To Set The Record Straight
President Trump's visit to the UK was wrought with speculation regarding his interactions with members of the royal family, both before and after he visited the country. But not all speculation was created equal. One related report claiming that Trump was snubbed by Prince Charles and Prince William has faced pushback from Buckingham Palace, with officials arguing that Trump was never intended to meet with other members of the family during his brief trip.
"In line with standard practice for guest of government visits the President was received by The Queen as Head of State. The arrangements were mutually agreed between the Palace and the U.K. and U.S. governments," a palace spokesperson told PEOPLE. "There was never a suggestion that other members of the royal family would take part."
On Sunday, the Sunday Times reported that Prince Charles and Prince William, the next, successive heirs to the throne, had refused to meet with Trump.
"This business of Prince Charles and Prince William not being there for the Trump visit was a snub," a source told the Times. "They simply refused to attend. It's a very, very unusual thing for the queen to be there on her own. Usually she is accompanied by somebody."
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump met with the queen at Windsor Castle on Friday. The two heads of state, plus Melania, reportedly spent just under an hour together. The group gathered in the Quadrangle at Windsor, where Trump joined the monarch in an inspection of the Guard of Honor, after which they headed inside for afternoon tea.
A Whitehall official reportedly involved in organizing Trump's trip told the Daily Mail that the president’s time with the Queen was "kept to the bare minimum." While Prince William and Prince Charles did not meet Trump, the Mail also reported that the pair were busy with separate events during Trump's afternoon with the queen.
Also missing from Friday's meeting was Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's 97-year-old husband. Philip formally retired from public life last year, though is reportedly still allowed to attend events as he pleases. A reason for his absence on Friday was not given.
Despite the swirling rumors, Trump went on to rave about his meeting with the Queen in an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan. "She is an incredible woman, she is so sharp, she is so beautiful, when I say beautiful — inside and out," Trump said. "I can tell you I liked her. I liked her a lot."
Trump's afternoon visit with the queen was just one of several high-profile events to take place during his trip to Europe. He also attended a NATO summit, met with Prime Minister Theresa May, and participated in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Each event was closely surveilled by people around the world.
Notably, however, Trump near-entirely avoided London during his trip to the United Kingdom, a scheduling plan largely attributed to the massive protests taking place in Britain's capital. But while the president skirted the demonstrations in London, he was unable to completely avoid public resistance and protest. While in Scotland, for example, a paraglider crashed his visit with the intention to protest Trump's approach to combatting climate change.
And Trump-related protests weren't simply limited to the UK. When the president traveled from the Finland airport to Helsinki, where he would go on to meet with Putin, he was met with a series of billboards highlighting his less-than-stellar relationship to the press. (Notably, the billboards weren't exclusively directed at Trump — they were similarly directed at Putin.)
All in all, it was undoubtedly an eventful week in Europe, as Trump traveled from country to country — and from press conference to press conference. Whether or not any members of the Royal family purposely avoided the president may never be known, but their lack of interaction comprised just a small fraction of a very high-profile trip.