British pageantry was on grand display Thursday as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived on the historic grounds of Blenheim Palace for an exclusive black tie gala hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Sheep grazing on the expansive lawns of the Duke of Marlborough's residence didn't seem bothered by Marine One as it emerged on the horizon, but dinner guests, in black tie suits and glittering gowns, stood at attention at the front of the palace waiting for the Trump's arrival.
May, in a long crimson dress, and her husband, Philip May, walked down a long red carpet to greet their American guests as they made the long, dramatic drive up to the front of the palace.
After shaking hands, the Trumps and Mays turned to take in the scene.
Trump split off from his wife to instead walk at a clip with Prime Minister May. Melania Trump walked up to the steps of Blenheim with May's husband at her side.
As they stood in front of Blenheim, Trump appeared delighted by the rows of British Army guards wearing formal black bearskin hats and the military band that marched around the Grand Court. He kept nodding his head, gesturing to May and Trump, and looked very pleased with the welcoming.
At the end of the ceremony, the military band played a rendition of "Amazing Grace" with a bagpipe solo.
It isn’t a state visit, but it began with all the pageantry that President Trump has shown such an appreciation for on previous foreign trips.
He frequently talks about the grand arrival ceremonies that kicked off every stop on his whirlwind tour of Asia last November, when it seemed as if each world leader was trying to outdo their counterpart on the previous stop.
Trump notices every detail - the military bands, cannons, young children waving American flags- and takes it as a sign of respect for him and the United States.
“They say in the history of people coming to China there has been nothing like that. And I believe it,” the president said last year of the welcome he was shown by China's President Xi.
The president has mentioned that greeting several times since then - and its likely Thursday's grand welcome in Britain will stick with him and become a favorite talking point.
On Friday, Trump will meet with May at Chequers and another meeting with the Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Palace.