It’s easy to forget that our brash, quintessentially American president is actually the son and grandson of immigrants. His paternal grandparents came from Germany, while his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, was born on the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides and spoke Scots Gaelic as her mother tongue. But to the Trump-hating British press, he’s just another vulgar Yank, ignorant in the ways of the nobility and thus an embarrassment to civilized people everywhere:
During President Trump’s hourlong visit with the queen at Windsor Castle on Friday — they shared tea, a handshake and traditional pomp-and-circumstance — one awkward moment stood out on social media. It was when President Trump momentarily seemed to (gasp!) walk in front of the queen.
Mr. Trump walked slightly ahead of the queen as they inspected her honor guard. At one point, she gestured to Mr. Trump and appeared to direct him forward with her white-gloved right hand. He walked in front of her and then stopped, which cut off her path and forced her to sidestep around him.
It was over in less than 20 seconds, but even some casual followers of the monarchy were aghast at the uncomfortable interaction. Yes, it is a royal no-no to walk ahead of the queen.
Then there was the great non-bowing controversy:
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) July 13, 2018
Presidents and other U.S. officials should always be well-briefed in protocol, but it’s generally agreed that the U.S. president should not to bow to any foreign potentate. Like this:
Or, even more notoriously, this:
Obama’s error with the Japanese Emperor lay not only in bowing but in shaking hands at the same time; in Japan, you do one or the other; he should have simply shaken hands, one head of state to another. But how quickly, in its anti-Trump animus, does the media forget this real gaffe on Obama’s part:
The setup: The president was finishing his remarks at Tuesday’s dinner at Buckingham Palace when he set down his note cards and picked up his glass. “Ladies and gentlemen, please stand with me and raise your glasses as I propose a toast: To Her Majesty the Queen, . . ”
The screwup: At this point, the band launched into “God Save the Queen” — but Obama continued speaking over the music: “. . . for the vitality of the special relationship between our peoples, and in the words of Shakespeare, ‘To this blessed plot, this Earth, this realm, this England.’ To the Queen.” She gave him a look, he set down his glass, and then stood motionless until the music stopped. Then everyone picked up their glasses. Oops.
The British tabloids, usually quick to point out a protocol breach, appeared smitten by the Obamas and made little mention of the gaffe. The State Department declined to comment; a spokesman for the British Embassy said this “really isn’t an issue — by all accounts, it was a very enjoyable evening.”
That was then, this is now. Still, as I tweeted earlier today:
Somewhere, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce are laughing and toasting him with some choice mead. https://t.co/2KcMSHZy6i
— Michael Walsh (@dkahanerules) July 14, 2018