Donald Trump got his first official state visit to the United Kingdom off to a flying start on Monday, calling the mayor of the country’s capital city of London, Sadiq Khan, a “stone cold loser” via his Twitter account, and followed up by height-shaming the five-foot, six-inch-tall mayor in a subsequent tweet.
The eventful trip continued on Tuesday when Trump at a joint press conference with outgoing U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said that in upcoming trade talks with Great Britain, the country’s highly popular National Health Service would be “on the table,” according to a CNN report.
According to The Washington Post, Trump’s startling suggestion that the U.K. should somehow sell off pieces of its government-run system that provides free, universal health care for British citizens, produced an extraordinary moment of unity between left-wing Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Conservative Party prime minister candidate Dominic Raab — both of whom said that the U.K. would never put the NHS up “for sale.”
But for Twitter users, as The Huffington Post reported, the clear high point of Trump’s visit came on Monday when Britain’s 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth II greeted Trump outside of her official home, Buckingham Palace — as Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner watched from behind a balcony window in the palace. A resulting photo of the couple drew widespread comparisons to a variety of creepy horror movies.
While Mother Jones editor Clara Jeffrey saw echoes of The Omen, The New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum compared the photo to a shot from the 1987 film adaptation of the 1979 V.C. Andrews novel Flowers in the Attic.
Another Twitter user took the V.C. Andrews comparison even further.
I added the photo of Jared and Ivanka looking out the window to a collage of V.C. Andrews novel covers and honestly it blends in really well. pic.twitter.com/DKDTSMiPwg— Geraldine (@everywhereist) June 4, 2019
Twitter user Meredith Lee, on the other hand, also posted the photo, writing, “I didn’t know they were remaking The Shining! Terrifying!” And another user, Nina Parker, was reminded of the 2001 ghost story, starring Nicole Kidman, The Others.
The New York magazine site The Cut described the photo with the headline, “Haunted Dolls Gaze out of Buckingham Palace.”
“Is it plea for help? A warning?” wondered The Cut writer Madeleine Aggeler. “Or is it a threat, an assurance that someday we too will be nothing more than human-size dolls who exist solely to entertain and be manipulated by the rich and the powerful.”
The photo was just one more surreal moment in what Vanity Fair described as a “disastrous” U.K. trip for Trump and his family, as Trump finished off the visit by hurling further insults at Khan. This time he made the insults in his joint press conference with May, calling Khan “a negative force, not a positive force,” and a “not very good mayor.”