Queen Elizabeth II hosted a state banquet on Monday night during the U.S. president Donal Trump’s three-day visit. It was a lavish affair that involved many people and some fine food, but what goes into the organization involving such a banquet?
According to Town and Country, 170 guests were present during the state banquet. Among them were Donald Trump and the First Lady, Melania. This was in addition to many royal family members and other dignitaries.
The royal family posted images of the banquet tables set up prior to hosting the event to the official Instagram account for the royal family. Shown in the images were the empty seats ready for the banquet as well as the staff as they filled candles and added finishing touches to bouquets of flowers. The caption indicated that it was indeed the final touches before the banquet began.
Enormously long tables are laid out with identical tableware, each fork laid out perfectly, each chair lined up neatly. A staff member is shown in one of the images to be straightening out tableware ahead of the state banquet. The Queen’s table is elevated and looks down over the invited guests.
Trump was one of the special guests who shared the royal banquet table with Queen Elizabeth. He sat to the Queen’s right, while Queen Elizabeth’s son, Prince Charles, sat to her left, according to The Telegraph.
View this post on Instagram
A sneak peek of the State Banquet table in the Buckingham Palace Ballroom. The final finishing touches will be added shortly before The Queen welcomes the President of the United States @realdonaldtrump, the First Lady @flotus, members of the Royal Family and around 170 guests to celebrate the #USStateVisit. Swipe ⬅️ to see #behindthescenes photos of the Palace Attendants and Royal Florists transforming the Ballroom and setting the table earlier today.
As reported by The New York Times, while many royal family members were present during the state banquet, missing were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Markle is currently on maternity leave and that likely explains her absence from the banquet. However, some royal watchers wondered if perhaps the royal couple had avoided the event due to Trump previously referring to Markle as “nasty.”
While Harry and Meghan were not present, Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, were present. So too was Harry’s brother, William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
During the state banquet, the Queen gave a speech directed at Donald Trump.
“Visits by American Presidents always remind us of a close and long-standing friendship between the United Kingdom and the United States,” Queen Elizabeth said, according to Channel Nine Australia.
“Mr. President, as we look to the future I am confident that our common values and shared interests will continue to unite us.”
Donald Trump responded to the Queen’s speech with a toast.
“On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people,” Trump said.