Is Donald Trump the modern version of Winston Churchill? Many people have made that comparison, and now even the queen of England has hinted at the similarities with a thoughtful gift to the U.S. president.
On Monday, the president and first lady arrived at Buckingham Palace as part of a three-day diplomatic visit to the United Kingdom. Waiting to meet them was Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history and, at 93, still a formidable figure in world affairs.
While many in London protested Trump’s visit, the queen showed a much classier of England by receiving the president graciously, and presenting him with a valuable abridged first edition book penned by Churchill.
“The Queen gave Donald Trump an abridged first edition of Winston Churchill’s book, ‘The Second World War,'” CNN reported. “The book, printed in 1959, is presented in a crimson and gold-tooled cover. It features a gold royal cypher, silk endpapers and hand-sewn headbands in the colors of the US flag.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 3, 2019
Churchill, of course, is famous as the prime minister who led Britain through the dark days of World War II, at a time when Hitler’s Germany was blitzkrieging its way through Europe and many had given up hope.
But there is much more to the man than just his leadership at 10 Downing Street. As history buffs know, Churchill was somewhat scorned before the war, and even during his time in office was seen by many as a bit crass and perhaps too blunt. Remind you of anyone?
“Churchill wrote a series of books on World War II, published between 1948 and 1953, which were written with the help of his own notes and diaries compiled during the conflict,” CNN explained. “Trump is known to be an admirer of the former prime minister.”
Indeed, back in January of 2017, the newly sworn-in president went out of his way to make sure that a historic bust of Churchill was moved from the private section of the White House, where it had been out of the public’s sight during the Obama years, and into the Oval Office, where it was prominently displayed.
“Melania Trump, meanwhile, received a specially-commissioned silver box with a handcrafted enamel lid. The box features rose, thistle and shamrock images, as seen in the ceiling pattern in Buckingham Palace’s music room,” CNN added.
The first lady also had a chance to channel every wife in the world when she saved her husband from minor embarrassment, after the president apparently drew a blank about a gift the Trumps had given the queen on another occasion.
President Trump “was also shown the pewter horse that he’d given the Queen last year in his visit to Windsor,” Emily Andrews, the royal correspondent for The Sun newspaper, posted on Twitter.
“He was asked if he recognized it and he said ‘no!’ Melania came to his rescue and said ‘I think we gave that to the Queen,'” Andrews continued.
Lol exactly like all married couples worldwide. Wife picks gift that both give, husband pays no attention. I think every married couple knows this???
— Kadelia (@kadelia) June 3, 2019
That mild faux pas could have made things uncomfortable, but it instead reminded many social media commenters of their own relationships.
“[E]xactly like all married couples worldwide,” one user replied. “Wife picks gift that both give, husband pays no attention. I think every married couple knows this.”
History will be the ultimate judge of whether Donald Trump is an American version of Churchill or something else entirely, but you have to admit that the parallels are interesting.
The queen seemed to be purposely acknowledging them, and that’s a noteworthy nod from a woman who was good family friends with the late prime minister during the period of time summarized in his book.
The United States and the United Kingdom have always had a special relationship, and one that is worth preserving.
It certainly looks like both President Trump and Queen Elizabeth recognize this — and with luck, that friendly bond between old and new worlds will continue into the future.
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