Trump meets Queen Elizabeth to kick off UK visit

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump introduces Mariano Rivera for Medal of Freedom ceremony with Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' Trump awards Yankees legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico 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 MayMark Ruffalo dismisses Boris Johnson's comparisons to the Hulk: 'The Hulk only fights for the good of the whole' Queen Elizabeth to honor ex-British ambassador who called Trump 'inept' UK cabinet member resigns over Johnson's 'political vandalism' 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 MarklePrince Harry launches initiative to tackle travel industry's impact on climate Prince Harry talks about 'unconscious bias' and racism with Jane Goodall Christian group warns against rise of 'Christian nationalism' 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.