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Trump meets Queen Elizabeth to kick off UK visit

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpScorned and mistreated, Melania Trump deserved much better from the media The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE were greeted at Buckingham Palace on Monday by Queen Elizabeth II, kicking off the president’s three-day state visit to the United Kingdom.

The queen shook hands with both Trumps against the backdrop of a gun salute before the trio walked into the palace in London, where the first couple is expected to have a private lunch with the queen.

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Before greeting the queen, President Trump inspected a group of Grenadier Guards wearing their traditional red tunics and bearskin hats in the palace garden, part of the pomp surrounding a state visit. 

The queen presented the Trumps with gifts, giving the president a first-edition abridged version of Sir Winston Churchill's "The Second World War," and giving the first lady a “specially commissioned silver box" designed to evoke the ceiling of Buckingham Palace's music room.

Trump is expected to have tea with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla later Monday.

Trump’s meeting with the royals should largely avoid the hot-button issues that will dominate the later part of the president’s visit, such as his meeting with Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Money talks: Why China is beating America in Asia China is winning the war for global tech dominance MORE days before she leaves office.

The president publicly criticized May’s Brexit strategy, stopped just short of endorsing Conservative Party politician Boris Johnson as her successor, called comments Duchess Meghan MarkleMeghan MarkleRuth Bader Ginsburg, George Floyd among options for 'Remember the Titans' school's new name Many Americans cannot sleep — and the pandemic makes it worse Elton John credits Zoom AA meetings as a 'lifesaver' during pandemic MORE made about him “nasty” and blasted London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a “stone cold loser.”

Even before those controversial comments, Trump’s state visit stirred widespread angst in the U.K. capital. He is expected to face thousands of demonstrators during his visit to London.

--Updated 10:05 a.m.