It's been about a year and a half since Donald Trump took office, and now, he's about to meet Queen Elizabeth II, a monarch who has been in power for more than half a century. The visit is expected to bring Trump to Windsor Castle, where the queen spends most weekends. He will shake hands with the queen and spend the better part of an afternoon with her, but some royal family quotes about Trump make his meeting with the monarch even more interesting.
First, a bit of a primer on the British monarchy. The queen is ardently apolitical (though her heirs are not necessarily; Prince Charles is a vocal advocate of environmental causes and often pens letters to government ministers expressing his views, according to The Telegraph). The 92-year-old queen, who reigns but does not rule, has a "constitutional obligation to remain above the political fray," according to The Washington Post's interview with Dickie Arbiter, the queen’s former press secretary. That means zero public opinions on political matters and state controversies. The U.K. Parliament website reads, “Although not prohibited by law, it is considered unconstitutional for the Monarch to vote in an election.” This guideline applies to the rest of the family, and it's implicit that they are not to voice their political opinions.
So that's why it made headlines when the queen was caught on camera cracking a joke at the expense of both President Trump and Obama while shooting a segment with British broadcaster Sir David Attenborough in June of 2017. Though it wasn't a political opinion, it still showed a bit of color in her thoughts toward the world leaders. Queen Elizabeth was with Attenborough in her Buckingham Palace garden when a whining helicopter drowned out her conversation. She complained about the cacophony while looking up: "Why do they always go round and round when you want to talk? Sounds like President Trump, or President Obama."
While Queen Elizabeth made an innocent joke, her grandson Prince Harry reportedly said something much harsher. The 32-year-old royal family member supposedly "is not a fan" of Trump, reported Us Weekly, citing a close anonymous source. "Harry thinks the president is a serious threat to human rights," claims the Us Weekly source, who added that Prince Harry's older brother Prince William has also apparently expressed concern in private. Prince Harry, who is an animal conservationist and humanitarian, has, according to a second source from Us Weekly, "often been vocal" about his opinion of Trump since his presidential candidacy was announced in 2015.
If that's what Prince Harry thinks about Trump, he won't find much complaint from his new wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Before Markle's fairy tale ending, and before her engagement to Prince Harry, she was an outspoken and passionate activist. Markle served as a U.N. Women’s Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership. She fought hard for women's rights, and it was on that issue that Markle had criticized President Trump, then a candidate, as being "misogynistic" during an interview with Nightly News.
"Yes, of course Trump is divisive. Think about just female voters alone, right? I think it was in 2012, like the Republican party lost the female vote by 12 points," Markle says in the interview. "That's a huge number, and with as misogynistic as Trump is and so vocal about it, that's a huge chunk of it. You're not just voting for a woman, if it's Hillary, just because she's a woman, but certainly because Trump has made it easy to see that you don't really want that kind of world."
Markle's candid thoughts might be reined in by her new title, and it's unclear if she will even be there to greet the 45th president of the United States and his wife Melania. None of these quotes put the president in a flattering light, though whatever potential tension may arise, there's no doubt the queen will handle it with an unflappable grace that's been honed for nearly a century.