Inside the State Banquet: How the Queen treated President Trump to dinner of Windsor lamb

Inside the State Banquet: How the Queen treated President Trump – and 170 guests split into some VERY intriguing pairs – to dinner of Windsor lamb and strawberry sable in the Buckingham Palace ballroom

  • Donald Trump’s State Banquet in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace was attended by about 170 guests
  • First Lady Melania sat beside Prince Charles, who was one of 16 members of the Royal Family to attend 
  • Dress code for the dinner was white ties for the men, tiaras for women with an option to wear national dress 

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Donald Trump dined with the Queen as she granted him the highest honour possible for a visiting world leader this evening.

The US President and First Lady joined about 170 guests for the State Banquet in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace, where Melania was seated next to the Prince of Wales.  

The President entered through the East Gallery after arriving for the banquet just before 8pm in his Marine One helicopter.  

His daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner joined Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, his wife Lara, and Tiffany Trump for the white tie dinner.

Sixteen members of the royal family attended – the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

Pictured: Guests stand for beginning of the State Banquet for Donald Trump in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace in central London last night 

U.S. President Donald Trump sits with Queen Elizabeth at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in London last night as the Republican was granted the highest honour possible for the monarch to give a visiting world leader

U.S. President Donald Trump sits with Queen Elizabeth at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in London last night as the Republican was granted the highest honour possible for the monarch to give a visiting world leader

Pictured: First Lady Melania Trump walks alongside Prince Charles as they enter the ballroom for the State Banquet to welcome the US President

Pictured: First Lady Melania Trump walks alongside Prince Charles as they enter the ballroom for the State Banquet to welcome the US President 

Prince William sat alongside Theresa May at last night's State Banquet to welcome US President Donald Trump to Buckingham Palace ahead of D-Day commemorations

Prince William sat alongside Theresa May at last night’s State Banquet to welcome US President Donald Trump to Buckingham Palace ahead of D-Day commemorations 

The Duchess of Cambridge and United States Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin arrive through the East Gallery during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

The Duchess of Cambridge and United States Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin arrive through the East Gallery during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace 

Guests take their seats for the State Banquet with Donald Trump as Buckingham Palace welcomed the US President to the ballroom last night

Guests take their seats for the State Banquet with Donald Trump as Buckingham Palace welcomed the US President to the ballroom last night 

Pictured: A member of the Royal staff prepares one of the tables inside the ballroom of Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Banquet for Donald Trump, which took place last night

Pictured: A member of the Royal staff prepares one of the tables inside the ballroom of Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Banquet for Donald Trump, which took place last night  

The lavish setting was inspected by the Queen herself after staff had laid the tables in Buckingham Palace, spacing cutlery evenly apart and topping laying intricate candle holders next to place settings

The lavish setting was inspected by the Queen herself after staff had laid the tables in Buckingham Palace, spacing cutlery evenly apart and topping laying intricate candle holders next to place settings 

Each setting was laboriously laid out ahead of Donald Trumps State Banquet in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace, where plates had to be precisely 18cm apart

Each setting was laboriously laid out ahead of Donald Trumps State Banquet in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace, where plates had to be precisely 18cm apart 

Pictured: Flowers are trimmed to be laid out for the president along with about 170 guests at Buckingham Palace for Donald Trump's State Banquet

Pictured: Flowers are trimmed to be laid out for the president along with about 170 guests at Buckingham Palace for Donald Trump’s State Banquet 

A bouquet is placed atop a table in Buckingham Palace's ballroom ahead of the State Banquet for US President Donald Trump last night

A bouquet is placed atop a table in Buckingham Palace’s ballroom ahead of the State Banquet for US President Donald Trump last night 

Pictured: A Royal staff member fixes a candle into its holder as she lays place settings ahead of the State Banquet for Donald Trump, who was honoured by the Queen last night in Buckingham Palace's ballroom

Pictured: A Royal staff member fixes a candle into its holder as she lays place settings ahead of the State Banquet for Donald Trump, who was honoured by the Queen last night in Buckingham Palace’s ballroom 

The Duchess of Cornwall sat on the other side of the president. Also at Camilla’s side was US ambassador Woody Johnson. William was between the Prime Minister Theresa May and Mr Johnson’s wife Suzanne Ircha. 

The Duchess of Cambridge sat between US secretary of the treasury Steven Mnuchin and the Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin.

The president’s daughter and adviser Ivanka sat between the Countess of Wessex and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, while Ivanka’s husband Mr Kushner, a senior adviser to Mr Trump, had the Princess Royal on his right and Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, on his left.

President Donald Trump makes a speech as Queen Elizabeth II listens during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. The President spoke of the sacrifice made by British and American soldiers on D-Day

President Donald Trump makes a speech as Queen Elizabeth II listens during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. The President spoke of the sacrifice made by British and American soldiers on D-Day 

The Queen is pictured viewing a state banquet table prepared for a summer opening of the palace. She would have inspected place settings ahead of Donald Trump's visit in the same manner

The Queen is pictured viewing a state banquet table prepared for a summer opening of the palace. She would have inspected place settings ahead of Donald Trump’s visit in the same manner 

A member of staff inspects a wine glass on the table, where place settings must be precisely the same distant apart from one another as do chairs

A member of staff inspects a wine glass on the table, where place settings must be precisely the same distant apart from one another as do chairs 

Staff members lay the state banquet table as part of a display for the Buckingham Palace revealing how the formal dinners settings appear

Staff members lay the state banquet table as part of a display for the Buckingham Palace revealing how the formal dinners settings appear 

Pictured: The view President Trump enjoyed last night from the top table of the ballroom at Buckingham Palace, which was the setting for the President's State Banquet

Pictured: The view President Trump enjoyed last night from the top table of the ballroom at Buckingham Palace, which was the setting for the President’s State Banquet 

The Duke of Sussex, who was at the private lunch earlier, was noticeably absent, as was the Duchess of Sussex, who is on maternity leave looking after their four-week-old son, Archie.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declined his invitation to the dinner, which comes ahead of commemorations marking the loss of American and British life on D-Day. 

A steamed fillet of halibut with watercress mousse, asparagus spears and chervil sauce served as the banquet’s starter, followed by a saddle of new season Windsor lamb with herb stuffing, spring vegetables and port sauce.

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall  enter the ballroom for the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall  enter the ballroom for the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

Dessert was a strawberry sable with lemon verbena cream – made of crisp biscuits, smooth pastry cream and fresh fruit. Palace staff spent three days laying the table, on which napkins are folded like dutch bonnets.

The dress code was tiaras and white tie, or national dress. The guests, invited due to their ties with the US, ate from priceless dinner sets.

Their plates were spaced exactly 18 inches apart and glasses and chairs were all the same distance away from the table edge. Six glasses were set out per guest, with a special cushion placed on the Prince of Wales’s chair. 

As is customary, the Queen inspected the horseshoe-shaped table herself in the afternoon, making her way round the room and checking the preparations with the Master of the Household, Vice-Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt.

Nineteen stations surrounded the table and each was manned by four members of staff – a page, footman, under butler and a wine butler.

Preparations in the kitchens were made as close to the event as possible – with every dish handmade from scratch. Royal chefs had presented four possible alternatives to the Queen before she settled on one for the state visit.   

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