Melania Trump and Philip May enjoy gentle day of bowls, as spouses endure tense Chequers encounter

First Lady all smiles as she spends time away from president during UK visit

Melania Trump tries out bowls on state visit

As Donald Trump and Theresa May endured an awkward joint photo opportunity at Chequers following the US president’s explosive Brexit comments, their respective spouses appeared to enjoy a rather more relaxed afternoon together with a gentle game of bowls.

Wearing high-heeled stilettos and a sleeveless dress, Melania Trump was all smiles as she spent time away from her husband to join Philip May on a visit to Royal Chelsea Hospital.

The odd couple hit it off as the former model from Slovenia and the 60-year-old investment relationship manager from Norfolk greeted each other warmly, appearing relaxed in each other’s company.

Images showed the First Lady, 48, bowl a number of times with Mr May smiling and guffawing behind her. At one point she was pictured high-fiving a Chelsea Pensioner, in a rare show of relative abandon.

As their partners thrashed out trade talks 40 miles away in Buckinghamshire, Ms Trump also joined Mr May in helping local schoolchildren make poppies.

The pair’s interactions contrasted with footage of the US and UK leaders, who were forced to sit for a photoshoot hours after comments by the billionaire humiliating the prime minister were made public.

The president had accused Ms May of ignoring his advice over Brexit and putting in peril a trade deal with the US, while suggesting Boris Johnson, her political nemesis, would made a “very good” prime minister.

But in London, the First Lady appeared far more successful in charming those around her.

“She won every person she met over,” one Chelsea Pensioner told the BBC. “She came across magic, absolute magic.”

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