US President Donald Trump has met the Prince of Wales for a jovial afternoon tea at Clarence House.
Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall welcomed Mr Trump and First Lady Melania in the garden for tea at their official residence shorty after 4pm on the first day of the president’s state visit.
The two couples posed for a picture in the morning room before moving to private quarters for tea.
Mr Trump and Charles appeared at ease with one another as they stood in front of a mantelpiece to have their picture taken with their wives.
As the couples made their way into the room, a photographer in the small group of media dropped her flash diffuser.
Charles laughed as he picked it up, remarking: “It looks like an ice cream.”
The photographer, who was from the US press pool, replied: “Sorry sir, my apologies.”
The two men entered the room first and the president stopped and smiled at the waiting press.
Mr and Mrs Trump shook hands with officials, including the Queen’s equerry and Michael Vernon, controller at the Lord Chamberlain’s office. The couple were then directed to stand in front of the mantelpiece for a photograph. Mr Trump held out his left arm, indicating to Charles to stand on his left.
Charles and the president appeared to share a couple of jokes with one another as they could be seen smiling broadly, and at one point Charles laughed. Mr Trump adjusted his suit jacket and tie as he stood in place for the photo. At the end the president said: “Thank you very much everyone.”
Camilla wore a beige and white spotted silk dress by Fiona Clare for the occasion, which was to last about 30 minutes. Mrs Trump wore the monochrome outfit she was pictured in earlier. Charles and Mr Trump, who did not meet during the 2018 visit, are known to have contrasting views on the environment.
While the prince has called climate change “the wolf at the door”, Mr Trump has called it a “Chinese hoax”.
Apart from their meeting earlier on Monday at Buckingham Palace, the two men have encountered one another previously in New York during the prince’s 2005 tour of the US. Charles was also at the funeral of former president George H. W. Bush in December, at which Mr Trump was present.
It it not known whether they discussed climate change over tea.
But one woman outside Buckingham Palace said she hoped it would come up in conversation.
Auriel Glanville, 76, from London, was dressed in a costume she was calling “the statue of taking liberties”.
She said: “Donald Trump is a climate change denier. He’s a very dangerous man.
“He’s not listening to any of the scientists or David Attenborough that climate change is being caused by human activity.”
She said she did not think it was right that Mr Trump was here on a state visit, adding: “Climate change is at the top of the agenda and he’s not addressing that.”
Ms Glanville added: “I’m hoping that the tea at Clarence House today will be a great opportunity to bring this up.”
During their visit to Clarence House, Mr Trump and his wife were shown an Oscar Nemon sculpture of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill which was presented to the Queen Mother in November 1990.
The sculpture from the royal collection is usually on display at Clarence House.
The couple were also shown a letter written by the Queen Mother to the then Princess Elizabeth in 1939 during a state visit to the US.
Dated June 11 1939, the letter was written from the Hudson, NY, and begins “My Darling Lilibet”.
It says: “It was such fun talking to you both on the telephone today, and directly after we had spoken we went off for a picnic luncheon.
“There were a lot of people there, and we all sat at little tables under the trees round the house, and had all our food on one plate – a little salmon, some turkey, some ham, lettuce, beans & HOT DOGS too! […]
“This evening, after dinner we are leaving, & tomorrow morning we start the last week of our trip.
“I must say that I don’t think that I could bear very much more, as there comes a moment when one’s resistance nearly goes.
“I am dripping at this moment so I hope that the paper won’t get soaked!
“We had two burning, boiling, sweltering, humid furnace-like days in Washington…”