U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom obviously made headlines around the world. It was his first state visit to his country’s closest ally and it took place more than a year after he assumed office.
Trump’s visit also made headlines for him breaking protocol while visiting with Queen Elizabeth. From walking in front of the British monarch to reportedly making the Queen wait for him, the U.S. President’s actions were minutely observed and commented upon.
Donald Trump seems to have not taken kindly to criticisms of his actions and recently revealed in a press conference that it was he who had to wait for over “15 minutes” for the Queen to arrive rather than the other way around.
Speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump said, "I was about 15 minutes early and I'm waiting with my wife and that's fine. Hey, it's the Queen right? We can wait. But I'm a little early."
It is hard to believe the President’s claim as there are multiple articles about his penchant for making people wait for him. In fact, Trump has been late for meetings with leaders of various countries as recently as the G7 summit in Canada and the NATO summit in Brussels.
Trump is also known to promote “alternate facts” i.e. his version of events versus what actually happened. So what really happened? Did Trump have to wait for Queen Elizabeth for over 15 minutes?
Here’s the timeline of the event that Donald Trump is talking about:
- From the live TV footage, it can be seen President Trump's helicopter landed in the Windsor castle grounds at about 16:50, which was on schedule.
- It then took the President and the First Lady about ten minutes to get out of the helicopter and into the car that brought them to the reception area.
- According to television pictures broadcast by the BBC on the day of question, we can see that as the time approaches 17:00, the Queen is standing alone on the dais in the castle quadrangle – waiting for Trump.
- The live TV coverage showed that President Trump stepped out of the car at 17:01, and greets the Queen shortly afterwards (he was due to enter the quadrangle at 17:00).
The TV footage of his ‘inspecting the guard of honour’ is proof that the U.S. President’s claim of having to wait for the British monarch is false. British and American journalists have been quick to point this out to President Trump.
Trump claims he was 15 minutes early for meeting with the Queen. But live television shows her waiting for him for 12 minutes (even checking her watch). It was live TV, but remember- according to Trump, “What you’re seeing is not what’s happening.” pic.twitter.com/Q8vugRrGBw
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) August 3, 2018
However, this incident goes to show that Donald Trump feels deeply about any criticism of his actions and is willing to make up facts – big or small to show himself in good light.