Why are all of Trump's children on his state visit to London?
President Trump and First Lady Melania attended an official State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening following an invitation from Queen Elizabeth and, while daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, were already slated to attend the lavish dinner as formal advisers to Ivanka's father, the presence of the president's other children came as a surprise to many.
Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife, Lara, and Tiffany Trump also all attended the dinner on Monday, as evidenced by an Instagram post shared by Ivanka. Trump's youngest child, Barron, 13, was not there.
While Ivanka sat between the U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, her husband was seated next to the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne. Don Jr. sat next to Lady Bamford, Tiffany was next to Her Majesty's private secretary and Eric and his wife were separated during the event.
After news of Trump's children's attendance at the State Banquet, many online wondered why they were even there to begin with, noting that none of them have official roles in their father's administration, other than Ivanka. While she has gone on international trips with the president, their trip to the U.K. makes for the rest of Trump's kids have traveled abroad with him during his presidency, per People.
In response to a photo that Trump Jr. shared on his Twitter account from the dinner, CBS News White House reporter Kathryn Watson noted that, "the White House hasn't really offered an explanation for why the president's adult children who don't work in the administration are on this state visit."
Donald Jr. and Eric control the family's real estate business from their homes in New York City, with Trump Jr. spending increasingly more time on the campaign trail alongside girlfriend Kimberly Giulfoyle for his father's 2020 reelection campaign. Tiffany just finished her second year at Georgetown Law and most recently attended the 2019 Cannes Film Festival with her billionaire boyfriend.
CNN pointed out that Trump showing up to a State Banquet with all of his children, where beloved royals Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Charles were all also in attendance, was "akin to showcasing his version of royalty."
Ahead of meeting with the royal family numerous times on Monday, the president gave an interview with The Sun during which he expressed interest in his children holding a "next generation" meeting with William, Kate and Prince Harry, who "noticeably hung back" during a lunch with the Trumps earlier in the day but skipped out on the dinner.
"I think my children will be meeting them," Trump said. "It would be nice."
No such formal meeting is expected to occur, though it's possible that they were introduced inside the banquet at Buckingham Palace.
While the White House has yet to offer an explanation for Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany's presence at an official State Banquet, Quartz estimates that their travel to London cost American taxpayers nearly $5 million. The dinner itself was paid for by the Queen.