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Trump meets Queen Elizabeth to kick off UK visit

President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans Petition calls for Jill Biden to undo Trump-era changes to White House Rose Garden Fox News's Bret Baier posts vaccination selfie 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 MayWill Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Money talks: Why China is beating America in Asia 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 MarkleMeghan wins last copyright claim over letter to father Meghan announces children's book inspired by Prince Harry and Archie The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to take stock, revive push for big government 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.