Updated: June 14, 2021 8:56:27 pm
US President Joe Biden shared his sheer delight at an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at her grand Windsor Castle and even likened the 95-year-old monarch to his own mother.
The 78-year-old became the 13th American President to meet the Queen on Sunday, at the end of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, south-west England. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were then flown to Windsor Castle in Berkshire, south-east England, for their tea time interaction with the royal.
“She was very gracious. She reminded me of my mother,” the US President told White House reporters later.
Biden’s mother Catherine died in 2010 at the age of 92, someone Biden has previously described as the “profound influence” on his life, helping him to overcome a stutter in his youth and organising the coffee morning fundraisers when he first ran for the Senate in 1972 at the age of 29.
She also campaigned for him when he accepted the vice-presidential nomination in 2008.
According to reports, Biden spoke of how the Queen was keen on keeping up with world affairs and asked him about world leaders as well as what life in the White House was like.
“We could fit the White House in the courtyard,” he said, in reference to Windsor Castle, where she received the American First Couple dressed in bright pink, floral dress and matching pink hat.
“The Queen will receive President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty has received four other Presidents of the United States at Windsor Castle in recent years. President Biden will be the 13th serving US President to be met by Her Majesty,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement ahead of the meeting.
“As Head of State, The Queen regularly speaks to world leaders and key diplomatic figures. The President and Dr Biden are in the UK for the G7 Summit,” it added.
The Bidens joined the Queen for tea in the State Apartments and outdoors on the dais as the First Battalion Grenadier Guards gave a Royal Salute and the US National Anthem played in the palace quadrangle.
Biden then inspected the Guard of Honour, accompanied by Commanding Officer Major James Taylor, formed of the British Army’s most senior regiment of Foot Guards, the Grenadier Guards.
As President Biden approached the steps of Air Force One on his way to the NATO Summit in Brussels, he also revealed he had invited the Queen back to the White House. However, with the monarch no longer undertaking long-haul travel, that invitation is unlikely to be taken up.
“Anyway, she was very gracious. She was very generous,” he said.
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