Trump puts his hand on Queen's back during state banquet, sparks fierce debate on royal protocol

The 72-year-old praised the Queen, 93, and called her a 'great woman' for her leadership during World War II before placing his hand gently on her back


                            Trump puts his hand on Queen's back during state banquet, sparks fierce debate on royal protocol

President Donald Trump spurred a debate on whether he broke royal protocol by inadvertently placing his hand on Queen Elizabeth's back during the state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday

The 72-year-old POTUS praised the Queen, 93, and called her a "great woman" for her leadership during World War II before placing his hand gently on her back, People reports.

 

“From the Second World War to today, her majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these priceless traditions,” Trump said of the Queen at the dinner. “She has embodied the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart."

U.S. President Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II make a toast during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019, in London, England. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Queen spoke of her respect for the U.S. “Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped us 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.

However, the Queen did not appear the least ruffled in response to the back-patting gesture.

“There are no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms," according to the royal family's website.

U.S. President Donald Trump is greeted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019, in London, England. (Getty Images)

For those who wish to observe the traditional forms, it is advised that men perform a “neck bow (from the head only)” while women do a “small curtsy” when they meet the Queen.

“Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way,” the website states, categorically.

Furthermore, one should address the Queen as "Your Majesty" upon presentation, and as "Ma'am" thereafter.

(L-R) U.S. President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, First Lady Melania Trump, Prince Charles Prince of Wales and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall pose for a photograph ahead of a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In 2009, during a reception at Buckingham Palace, former first lady Michelle Obama wrapped her arm around the Queen. In response, the monarch responded by placing her own arm around Obama's waist.

Obama later spoke of the incident in her book 'Becoming'. “If I hadn’t done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing," she wrote. "I daresay that the Queen was okay with it, too, because when I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back."

Following their three-day state visit to the U.K., Trump and First Lady Melania are set to visit Ireland Wednesday and then to France on Thursday.

The official purpose of this European trip is to "commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day while reaffirming the close alliance between the U.S. and the U.K."