Meghan Markle will not be joining husband Prince Harry for a private lunch being hosted by Queen Elizabeth II to welcome US President Donald Trump on his first official state visit to the UK next month, Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday.
The 37-year-old royal, who gave birth to the couple’s first baby Archie earlier this month, will not join the rest of the royals during a series of events during the three-day visit beginning June 3. The Duchess of Sussex, during her time in the US as an actress, has described Trump as being “misogynistic” and “divisive” in a 2016 interview with a US television show.
The Queen will be joined by son Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and wife Camilla for the official welcome of Trump and his wife Melania on the day they arrive. A ceremonial welcome will be held in the palace’s garden on the first day of the visit, instead of the usual Horse Guards Parade venue in Whitehall in London. The decision is likely to be due to security concerns.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, will join the Queen, Charles and Camilla for a lavish state banquet at Buckingham Palace’s ballroom. Leading figures from UK national life and prominent Americans in Britain will be in attendance.
The US president will also have tea with the heir to the throne and his wife during the first day. On the second day he will meet with Theresa May, just a few days before she steps down as Prime Minister.
They will co-host a business breakfast meeting, attended by the Duke of York at St James’s Palace. Trump will then visit Downing Street to hold talks with the prime minister followed by a joint news conference.
That evening the Trumps will host a return dinner at Winfield House, the residence of the US ambassador, which Charles and Camilla will attend on behalf of the Queen.
The Queen and Charles will attend the national commemorative event for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Southsea Common, Portsmouth, on June 5. More than 300 D-Day veterans will be at the ceremony which aims to tell the story of D-Day through musical performance, testimonial readings and military displays, including a fly-past of 25 modern and historical aircraft.
Trump is reportedly bringing his grown-up children with him when he visits the UK - daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both advisers to the president, along with her siblings Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump.
May hailed it as an opportunity for the UK and US “to strengthen our already close relationship” when the state visit was announced in April. The White House said it would “reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship” between the two nations.