While smiles and pleasantries were in abundance, the two men have vastly different stances on the environment.
For over 40 years, the Prince of Wales has been outspoken about a number of environmental issues facing the planet.
Meanwhile, President Trump has previously publicly accused climate experts of having a “political agenda.” And, before taking office, he called the concept of human-caused warming “a con job” and a “hoax.”
Whether the two actually engaged in any kind of environmental talk during their meeting is unclear. But many media outlets in the U.K. speculated about just how uncomfortable the encounter might get, considering Trump would not be likely to stay quiet if the issue were brought up.
In 2017, he delivered a landmark speech in Malta about conserving the ocean and the circular economy.
More recently on a tour of the Caribbean this year, he has talked about “potentially catastrophic global warming,” praising the younger generation for raising their voices against climate change threatening their future.
“When he talks about environment he talks about wanting world to be a better place for his grandchildren and wanting world to be preserved for them,” Caroline Harris, a royal author, told NBC News.
His official website says the prince has received numerous awards for his environmental work while trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle himself.
Traditionally senior royal family figures stay out of politics, but Charles has been known to walk a fine line. In 2015, letters he wrote to government ministers, which included missives on the environment, became public.
Whether the prince stayed diplomatic and avoided mentioning environmental issues during the Monday afternoon meeting in Clarence House, it looks like President Trump will not be able to avoid the topic of environment during his time in the U.K.
The experts also said that honoring Trump with a state visit was “incompatible” with the U.K.’s global leadership on climate change.
In contrast to recent U.S. actions surrounding climate change, the British Parliament declared a climate change emergency last month. The country also plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050.
A few high-profile U.K. figures, however, have turned down an opportunity to meet with the American president, including opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn who said Prime Minister May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honor a president who, among other things, “backs climate change denial”.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, with whom Trump has traded barbs for years, also criticized the state visit in an article over the weekend, arguing that Trump is seen as a figurehead of the global far-right movement.
Protesters are also expected to take to the streets of London during the president’s visit, although Trump tweeted Monday that he had not seen any.
London part of trip is going really well. The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic. The relationship with the United Kingdom is very strong. Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our Country. Haven’t seen any protests yet, but I’m sure the....