What – or in this case, who – was conspicuously absent from the Queen’s Speech to Parliament? US President Donald Trump.
Trump’s planned state visit to the UK – announced by British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this year – was not mentioned by Queen Elizabeth II in her speech at the opening of Parliament on Wednesday, prompting further speculation over whether the trip will happen at all.
May offered up the state visit during a bilateral meeting with the US President shortly after his inauguration. State visits are typically characterized by pomp and ceremony, and generally include a banquet with the Queen.
The invitation has proved to be incredibly controversial in Britain, where over 1.8 million people signed a petition seeking to block Trump’s trip over fears that it would “cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”
Earlier this month, UK media reports suggested the US President had told Prime Minister May that he would not visit due to a lack of public support in Britain. Those reports were later denied by the White House.
British newspaper the Guardian reported that Trump had revealed his unease about the visit during a conversation with May, citing a Downing Street adviser who was in the room.
A senior Trump administration source denied that the subject came up when Trump and May spoke in the aftermath of the British general election.
Following the omission on Wednesday, a senior Trump administration official told CNN: “She didn’t mention (the visit) because the date is not yet set.”
A Downing Street spokesperson told CNN there was “no change” in their position on the state visit.
“The invitation for the state visit has been extended and it wasn’t mentioned in the speech as no date has been decided upon yet,” the Number 10 spokesperson said.
The Queen did mention one forthcoming state visit – that of King Felipe of Spain in July.
While Wednesday’s speech is being used by some as an indication that a Trump state visit is off the cards, recent history could indicate otherwise.
The Queen’s Speech in 2013 made no mention of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s state visit. And in 2012, the Queen failed to mention state visits by both Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.