Mary Trump has been e-mailing a mutual friend to ask about the right decorum for our Lunch. “I’m not sure what kind of food to have — finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, kippers?” she wrote. “It’s very stressful.” 

When we meet I try to reassure the US president’s niece that she should stop being self-conscious: as a Brit, that’s my prerogative. Yet here she is frantically shifting baskets of clothes out of my field of vision. She has had to retreat to her bedroom because PBS has sent her two cameras to facilitate interviews from her living room. “I’m really sorry about the mess,” she says. 

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now