Trump U.K. Visit: Royal Protocol at Buckingham Palace Banquet Is Etiquette 'Minefield' for U.S. President

President Donald Trump's state visit to the U.K. has already been marked by several breaches of diplomatic etiquette. The leader called Meghan, Duchess of Sussex "nasty" in an interview with The Sun, then pretended he hadn't, even though the paper had a recording of the conversation.

Even his first tweet from U.K. soil was unorthodox—the president blasted London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a "stone cold loser."

But now he's reached Buckingham Palace—where he will shortly attend a formal banquet—it seems the president is holding back on such outbursts. Royal writer Robert Hardman claimed the president was "absolutely determined to not put a foot wrong," during a tour by the Queen of the royal family's art collection, the BBC noted.

Hardman said: "Very unusually we had to struggle to hear a single word he said because he was listening very intently as the Queen showed him round an exhibition sort of charting U.K.-American relations."

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.

As Trump's behavior so far suggests, the president, his family and friends will be aware of the volume of rules they are supposed to follow during their time at Buckingham Palace.

Although the official royal family website says there are no "obligatory codes of behavior" when greeting members, it still lists a host of "traditional" manners. The Queen should be addressed as "Your Majesty" the first time, followed by "Ma'am"—pronounced with a short "a"—for example.

First lady Melania Trump's deputy chief of staff Stephanie Grisham recently told CNN the trip was set to be "complex." "Mrs. Trump spends a significant amount of time preparing for every trip. This includes protocol briefings, event memos, logistics, speech preparation when applicable and research and selection for the gift exchange," she told the outlet.

But if they break protocol, it's probably not the end of the world, as former first lady Michelle Obama—who claims to have hugged the Queen in 2009—previously told an audience. 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."

Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Royal Protocol
Queen Elizabeth II, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump view American items in the Royal collection at Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019 in London, England. President Trump's three-day state visit will include lunch with the Queen, and a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, as well as business meetings with the Prime Minister and the Duke of York, before travelling to Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Getty/Ian Vogler - WPA Pool