A veteran made a flirtatious remark about the First Lady when the pair met at a D Day 75th anniversary event today.

Thomas Cuthbert, 93, from Elmstead Market, Essex, was charmed by Melania Trump, 49, when they were introduced at a reception in Portsmouth this afternoon.

Speaking to the President about his wife, Mr Cuthbert said: "She's nice, isn't she?," adding: "If it wasn't for you, and if only I was 20 years younger."

Later today Trump will head to France for a ceremony marking the Normandy Landings. Photo / Getty Images.
Later today Trump will head to France for a ceremony marking the Normandy Landings. Photo / Getty Images.

The comment prompted a chuckle from the President, 72, who replied: "You could handle it, there's no question about it," while shaking Mr Cuthbert's hand.

Advertisement

Mr Cuthbert, who was awarded the Legion D'Honneur in 2017 for his role in the landings, was on fine form at the reception. He was seen sharing a joke with the Queen and chatting to Prince Charles about his time in the Navy.

But he appeared particularly taken by Melania Trump. After his meeting with the President and First Lady, Mr Cuthbert said Donald Trump "came across very well."

Queen Elizabeth II, President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Photo / Getty Images.
Queen Elizabeth II, President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Photo / Getty Images.

He added: "He surprised me, when you see someone on the TV but he seemed different, he seemed one of the boys. His wife was very pleasant as well."

The President told the veteran it was an "honour" to meet him, adding: "Thank you very much."

Cuthbert told Her Majesty that he had served in the Navy and was stationed on a landing barge oiler charged with refuelling other ships.

During their visit, Donald and Melania hosted a dinner at Winfield House for Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Photo / Getty Images.
During their visit, Donald and Melania hosted a dinner at Winfield House for Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Photo / Getty Images.

After Mr Cuthbert continued his explanation, the Queen quipped: "I thought you were going to tell me you had a bomb!," prompting the veteran and those around them to chuckle.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles, 70, spoke to the veteran about the hardship of suffering from seasickness during the war.

Referring to a segment of the commemorations that highlighted the conditions the men had to endure on the vessels heading to Normandy, the prince told Mr Cuthbert: "As they were saying the smell of the fuel and people being sick must have been terrible.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump visited Number 10 Downing Street during the second day of his state visit. Photo / Getty Images.
Donald Trump and Melania Trump visited Number 10 Downing Street during the second day of his state visit. Photo / Getty Images.

"I remember being in the navy and always being sick, and there was always someone who was never sick and would always appear with a mug of steaming soup."

Cuthbert sailed to France from Poole around the time of the D-Day landings in 1944.

In 2017 he received the Legion D'Honneur - France's highest military honour - after the French government announced the distinction would be handed to troops who landed on the beaches, and those who supported in the Navy and RAF.

For his part, Cuthbert told how his ship was first anchored offshore on Utah and Omaha beaches, before making its way onto Gold, Juno and Sword.

Speaking to the Halstead Gazette in 2017, Mr Cuthbert described the perilous position he had been in.

"We were often under heavy fire and it was a hazardous mission as we resembled a floating bomb," he said.

He added: "I was, and still am, proud to be a part of the D-Day landings and the process to liberate France."

After D Day Cuthbert was anchored off Cherbourg Harbour, where he witnessed a landing barge from his flotilla being blown up.

He was also sent to the scene of the 1943 Bethnal Green Tube disaster, where more than 170 people were killed while fleeing an air raid.

After leaving the Armed Forces Mr Cuthbert held a string of jobs before joining BT.