Donald Trump won't stop holding Theresa May's hand; is he trying to assert his authority?
President of the United States Donald Trump had a whirlwind of a visit to the UK. The president seems to have a message for Theresa May in his hand-holding antics
President of the United States Donald Trump landed in the UK for his first official visit on Thursday. The two-day visit was sort of a whirlwind, to say the least, and Trump caused a lot of controversy by threatening to blow up trade relations, making a racist statement about the immigrants, and even proclaiming himself more popular than Abraham Lincoln. All the official turmoil aside, one couldn't help notice how Trump kept trying to hold UK Prime Minister Theresa May's hand.
On July 12, Trump tried to hold a seemingly reluctant May's hand as they were walking up the stairs at Blenheim Palace. May tried to withdraw her hand but ended up holding on to a persistent Trump's fingers.
On July 13, Trump held hands with May as they were walking down the stairs at her country house Chequers ahead of their press conference. Later, while on their way to a state dinner, May looked like she was laughing at something Trump said to her but with her head down. This isn't the first time the duo have behaved in a strange fashion.
The same awkward hand-holding was witnessed when May visited the White House in 2017, reported Refinery29.
In an interview with Vogue, May spoke about the interaction that she had at the White House. She said: "I think he was actually being a gentleman. We were about to walk down a ramp, and he said it might be a bit awkward."
May isn't the only one Trump has weirdly held hands with. He did the same with French president Emmanuel Macron. Pattie Wood, a body language expert and the author of the book "Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma" said that the difference between the gestures is that Macron looked like he was enjoying it.
According to Wood, May did not seem to be liking the unnecessary hand holds too much. She said: "It's a really unusual handhold. To me, it shows that she's trying, with decorum, not to interlace their hands, to keep them from entwining. But she's doing everything nonverbally to show that she's not happy with it."
Something along these lines happened when the duo was walking up the stairs of the Blenheim Palace. The body language expert said: "A handhold like this, it shows that they're not totally joined and in sync. And the laughter, with the way she's holding her head down, could indicate anxiety or nervousness." She also said that Trump holding hands with May is a very strategic move. She said: "Trump uses non-verbal communication to indicate his power quite often," she said. "He's leading her in the hand-holding, which makes him look more powerful and alpha."
Wood said that it is highly likely Trump went back on what he said about May "wrecking" Brexit on purpose in a recent interview that he had with the Sun. In the interview, he dismissed the comments as "fake news" even though he had been heard saying it in a recording. He also managed to embarrass himself like crazy when he did not follow the royal protocol for the meeting he had with the Queen on July 13.
The whole day seemed to be made up of a series of unfortunate events when Trump started off by keeping the 92-year-old Queen waiting for almost 15 minutes for their meeting on July 13. The Queen was clearly not amused by the delay and could be seen constantly checking her watch as she waited for the president. When the black Range Rover finally reached the meeting spot, Trump made another faux pas. Instead of bowing to the Queen, he shook her hand vigorously. And when the Queen invited him to inspect the guard of honor and he walked in front of her!
Many very quick to pick up on the horrendous flaws and point out to America on social media that the president has been "rude" and "disrespectful" to the Queen who is the longest-serving monarch in the world.
Al Jazeera senior sports presenter, Joanna Gasiorowska, tweeted: "I can't even watch this… No bow or curtsey [sic] and now #Trump walks in front of the Queen… surely he knows the protocol but chooses to ignore it and that's just b***** rude." Matthew McGregor added: "I'm not a monarchist by any stretch of the imagination but this is such an insult to Britain. Absolutely clueless, classless, thoughtless, lacking in any dignity and without a shred of respect."