World·New

'She reminded me of my mother,' U.S. president says after meeting Queen

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden met Queen Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon at Windsor Castle following Biden's participation at the G7 summit in Cornwall, U.K.

Joe and Jill Biden visit Windsor Castle following G7 summit

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, met Queen Elizabeth on Sunday at Windsor Castle. (Chris Jackson/Pool/The Associated Press)

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden met Queen Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon at Windsor Castle following Biden's participation at the G7 summit in Cornwall, U.K.

The Bidens arrived at the castle aboard the presidential helicopter and were ferried to the Queen in a black Range Rover. The 95-year-old monarch greeted the Bidens in the castle's quadrangle, where she waited beneath a covered dais that shielded her from the sun on one of the hottest days of the year so far in the United Kingdom.

Assembled soldiers from the Queen's Company First Battalion Grenadier Guards gave a royal salute and the Bidens placed their hands over their hearts as the U.S. national anthem was played.

The president was then led across the grass for an inspection of the Guard of Honour. He wore a stern expression on his face after he had removed his trademark aviator sunglasses, but when the 78-year-old Biden got to the end of the row, he smiled for the soldier in front of him who held up a sword. The Queen and Jill Biden remained on the dais.

Biden returned to the dais and he, the first lady and the monarch who has held the British throne for nearly 70 years watched the military march past before they went inside for tea. As they left the dais, Biden offered the Queen an elbow. She declined and stepped down on her own power, using the handrail.

US President Joe Biden, right, Jill Biden, left, and the Queen receive a salute from a Guard of Honour on Sunday. (Alberto Pezzali/The Associated Press)

The Bidens emerged from the castle just shy of having spent a full hour with the Queen and boarded the helicopter for the return trip to London.

At Heathrow Airport, Biden talked about the Queen with his traveling press corps, saying she was "very gracious," that she asked him about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping and that he had invited her to visit the White House.

"I don't think she'll be insulted, but she reminded me of my mother," Biden said before he boarded Air Force One for his next stop, Brussels.

It generally is frowned upon for anyone to reveal the contents of their private talks with the Queen.

13th president to meet Queen Elizabeth

Biden is the 13th American president to meet Queen Elizabeth. President Lyndon B. Johnson is the only one who did not make her acquaintance while he was in office.

She has welcomed four other U.S. presidents to Windsor Castle, where she has been isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are Donald Trump in 2018, Barack Obama in 2016, George W. Bush in 2008 and Ronald Reagan in 1982.

Biden inspects a Guard of Honour at Windsor Castle on Sunday. (Matt Dunham/Pool/The Associated Press)

Biden's first time meeting the Queen came in November 1982, when as a U.S. senator he traveled to the United Kingdom for a meeting of the British-American Parliamentary Group, the White House said Sunday. Biden was part of a group that met with the monarch during that visit.

The Queen has been riding out the pandemic at Windsor Castle, but also has begun getting out now and again after the April death of her husband, Prince Philip, at age 99.

On Friday, she joined other royal family members — including Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate — at a reception in Cornwall for the G7 leaders.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now