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Queen and Trump speak by phone ahead of American Independence Day

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Queen has held talks with US president Donald Trump – ahead of American Independence Day.

The two heads of state chatted via telephone, just over six months since their last meeting at a Buckingham Palace reception marking the 70th anniversary of Nato.

Calls of this nature are made at the request of the Government and it is not known for how long the Queen and the president spoke, or the topics under discussion.

But the royal family employ what is known as “soft diplomacy” to help strengthen Britain’s ties with her allies.

A tweet posted on the official royal family account said: “Today, The Queen spoke to President Trump by telephone from Windsor Castle ahead of Independence Day in the United States on the 4th July.”

The White House said: “The president wished the Queen a happy birthday, marking 94 extraordinary years. The president also expressed his condolences for the British people who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The president and the Queen discussed close co-operation on defeating the virus and reopening global economies. The president and the Queen also reaffirmed that the United States and United Kingdom stand together in our special relationship and will emerge from this trying time stronger than ever before.”

Following Mr Trump’s three-day state visit in June 2019 he described the Queen as a “spectacular woman” in an interview with a US cable network and claimed they had “chemistry” .

The US leader told Fox News: “The meeting with the Queen was incredible. I think I can say I’ve really got to know her because I’ve sat with her many times and we had automatic chemistry.

“You understand that feeling, it’s a good feeling. But she’s a spectacular woman”.

With the UK and the US still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic it is likely Covid-19 was part of the most recent discussion between the pair.

The Queen has held telephone conversations with a series of leaders during the coronavirus lockdown, including France’s president Emmanuel Macron, Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison and Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister.

Mr Trump’s conversation with the Queen came ahead of his country’s Independence Day celebrations on July 4.

A White House event marking the anniversary is being held despite concerns expressed by some US politicians about the number of people expected to attend during the coronavirus outbreak.

World leaders, including Mr Trump, were hosted by the Queen at the Nato reception staged at her official London residence in December.

Earlier in the year, the US president was welcomed on a three-day state visit by the Queen during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 3.

The first official meeting between the Queen and America’s leader came in 2018 when Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tea with the monarch at Windsor Castle.

During the Queen’s 68-year reign there have been 13 American presidents – from Harry S Truman to Mr Trump – and she has met all of them except for Lyndon B Johnson.

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