Mr Trump, meet Her Majesty the Queen - Helen Mirren

11 July 2018 - 08:00 By Tom Eaton
US President Donald Trump to visit England
Trump US President Donald Trump to visit England
Image: REUTERS/Leah Millis. File Photo

On Thursday, Donald Trump will be greeted in London by what remains of the British government, which, at the time of writing, was a valet, an astrologer and two tour guides dressed as wombles Great Uncle Bulgaria and Orinoco. Mr Trump will be very impressed.

His itinerary in Britain, like his life, is an exercise in avoiding the filth and squalor of the upper middle class in favour of fantastical displays of excess. He will be whisked from one 18th-century palace to the next, preside over military pomp and be entertained by bagpipers. Or, as he calls it, “brunch”.

He will also meet the queen, an excruciatingly awkward encounter made even more so when he asks her why she signs things “Elizabeth R” and not “Helen Mirren”.

The hoary old script of the transatlantic alliance is now being performed by such astonishingly bad actors; actors so rotten, in fact, that they aren’t even bothering to learn the lines. They’re simply talking to the audience: “Hi, yeah, so I’m this guy called Hamlet? And I’m like the King of Scandinavia or something? And I’ve got issues.”

Indeed, the traditional oratory of the Anglo-American romance has become so mediocre that it makes this columnist wonder what some of the most famous presidential speeches might have sounded like had Trump been the man behind the microphone in past decades.

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