Trump, Queen Elizabeth toast to historic US-UK relationship at state banquet
President Trump attended a state banquet on Monday hosted by Queen Elizabeth II, where the two leaders hailed the historic importance of their countries’ relationship.
Trump offered a toast to the queen that focused largely on the two countries’ combined efforts during World War II. He praised the character of the British people following the bombings of London during the war and invoked the D-Day invasion ahead of its 75th anniversary.
“This evening we thank God for the brave sons of the United Kingdom and the United States who defeated the Nazis and the Nazi regime, and liberated millions from tyranny,” Trump said. “The bond between our nations was forever sealed in that great crusade.”
He described the queen as a “constant symbol” of shared values of “freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, the rule of law and reverence for the rights given to us by almighty God.”
“On behalf of all Americans I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the queen,” Trump concluded.
The queen’s toast of the president also highlighted the bond of the two countries during World War II, but noted that their alliance goes beyond security.
“Tonight, we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come,” she said.
The lavish state banquet took place at Buckingham Palace and capped off the first day of Trump’s three-day state visit to the U.K.
The president was seated at the head of the table between the queen and Camilla Parker Bowles, the duchess of Cornwall. First lady Melania Trump wore a white gown and was seated between Prince Charles and the lord speaker.
Each of the president’s adult children and their spouses — Eric and Lara Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Tiffany Trump — attended the banquet. Several White House aides also joined, including counselor Kellyanne Conway, national security adviser John Bolton and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The menu for Monday night’s dinner featured a steamed fillet of halibut with watercress mousse, asparagus spears and chervil sauce; a saddle of new season Windsor lamb with herb stuffing, spring vegetables and port sauce; strawberry sable with lemon verbena cream; a selection of assorted fresh fruits; and coffee and petit fours.
Trump appeared to revel in the pageantry of Monday’s events, where he met with members of the royal family and toured Westminster Abbey.
“London part of trip is going really well,” he tweeted before the state banquet. “The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic. The relationship with the United Kingdom is very strong. Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our Country.”
“Haven’t seen any protests yet, but I’m sure the Fake News will be working hard to find them,” he added. “Great love all around. Also, big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles. Already starting to talk!”
….Fake News will be working hard to find them. Great love all around. Also, big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles. Already starting to talk!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
The president will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, just days before she steps down as Conservative Party leader.
Thousands of demonstrators and a “Trump Baby” blimp are expected to turn out for a protest of the president’s visit on Tuesday in London. Multiple outlets have reported that as many as 250,000 people may attend.