In a historic first, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will be hosting President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania for tea next month.
The president and first lady will reportedly join the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House during the Trumps’ official visit to the United Kingdom, something neither former Presidents Barack Obama nor George W. Bush had been invited to do during their official visits to Britain, according to the Daily Mail.
The “unexpected” meeting marks a first for Prince Charles as the heir to the throne has never personally hosted a U.S. president. He also did not meet with Trump on his visit to Britain last year, which sparked major protests in London and sparked reports that Charles and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry did not want anything to do with the president’s plans.
Although the president and first lady met with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle during that visit to the U.K. in July 2018, the upcoming trip will have them in the country from June 3-5 for an official state visit to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The ceremonial state visit will include a formal welcome at Horse Guard’s Parade as well as lunch and dinner at Buckingham Palace.
The tea with the 70-year-old Prince Charles at his official residence in London will follow the Queen’s official state banquet for the Trumps, which will also be attended by the heir to the throne as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The meeting is being seen as a sign of Charles’ “growing role” of taking over some of the throne’s more demanding duties as his mother, the Queen, is now 93 years old.
According to Daily Mail:
It also suggests that Charles has put his personal feelings aside in the interests of the country, as he promised he would in a BBC interview to celebrate his 70th birthday last year. Clarence House last night declined to comment but it has emerged that Charles will be playing a ‘full and prominent’ role in Mr Trump’s high-profile, three-day visit, which starts on June 3.
“This is high statecraft and the prince is uniquely capable of hosting a visiting head of state,” a source said of the longest-serving heir to the throne in British history.
The meeting with the Trumps is seen as a “defining moment in Charles’s preparation to be king,” Daily Mail’s Richard Kay contended in a separate article, predicting that the Prince of Wales’ every move will be watched closely.
According to Kay:
For the first time, the prince will put personal and private antipathy to one side for the sake of protocol and the monarchy.
With so many of his views on everything from climate change and food production to dialogue with the Muslim world diametrically opposite to those held by Mr Trump, Charles is taking a significant step towards the throne.
By demonstrating that he is prepared to put the affairs of the state first with this meeting, his desire to assume greater and more official responsibility is being meaningfully addressed.
And while Charles may be seen as putting aside his previous political differences with Trump, the same cannot be said for London’s controversial Mayor Sadiq Khan who has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. president, exchanging angry comments with him on topics from immigration to terror attacks.
Khan, a member of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party, demanded the government cancel Trump’s UK trip last year and as thousands took to the streets to protest his visit, Khan infamously approved the so-called “Trump Baby Blimp” to be flown by the crowds.
Queen snubs London mayor talking smack about POTUS – no invite to Trump state banquet dinner https://t.co/wXWlbJ4ixV
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 11, 2019
But it is a different welcome for the Trumps this time as Prince Charles has stepped up and even the Queen sees to have sent critics like Khan a message by conspicuously leaving him off of the invitation list for the banquet planned in Trump’s honor.