Donald Trump Touches Queen Elizabeth, Breaks Royal Protocol During Visit to Buckingham Palace

While attending a state banquet at Buckingham Palace Monday, President Donald Trump broke an unwritten royal rule by patting the queen on the back. It may seem like a harmless gesture by the 45th president but, it is a major breach of "traditional norms."

The monarchy's website states "there are no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family," but those who wish to follow "traditional norms" are encouraged to "neck bow" (for men) or perform a "small curtsy" (for women).

Trump later appears to pat the queen’s back, @asebenius notes.

— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 3, 2019
Twitter/Jennifer Jacobs

As previously reported, royal norms are famously nuanced and navigating royal protocol can be tricky, as Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine told The New York Post back in 2017 when news emerged that Meghan Markle had met the Queen for the first time. "It's going to be a minefield," she said of the former actress' journey to royalty.

Touching a member of the Royal Family may be frowned upon, but former first lady Michelle Obama—who claims to have hugged the queen in 2009—previously told an audience that it isn't the end of the world. Describing a 2016 meeting with the monarch, she said: "I had all this protocol buzzing in my head, and I was like 'don't trip down the stairs and don't touch anybody, whatever you do.'"

In the end, she added, the queen didn't seem to care about such rules, telling her: "Oh it's all rubbish, just get in."

By the looks of it, Trump will be able to get away with patting the queen on the back but it was clear that he didn't start his U.K. visit off to a great start. Prior to arriving at Buckingham Palace, Trump composed a tweet Sunday that he never called the Dutchess of Sussex "nasty."

"I never called Meghan Markle 'nasty,'" the president wrote. "Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!"

The president's tweet was immediately met with responses pointing out to him that there is video footage of him saying the very word he claimed not to have uttered.

In fact, Trump's own campaign was responsible this weekend for inadvertently helping to make that video footage even more popular on social media.

On Saturday, the "Official Trump War Room" Twitter account — managed by the Trump campaign — issued a denial on the "nasty" statement but inexplicably included the video clip of the president making the comment as evidence that Trump had not said what he was being accused of saying.

Trump UK Visit
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/Dominic Lipinski