Queen Elizabeth greeted President Biden and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle Sunday — the 13th sitting president the 95-year-old monarch has met in her reign.
Biden and his wife shared afternoon tea with the monarch at Windsor Castle, her family home, at the end of the G7 summit and as he wraps up the British leg of his first international trip since taking office.
The British royal greeted the Bidens in the Quadrangle of the castle, home to the royal family for nearly 1,000 years and where she has spent much of her time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
After their arrival, a Guard of Honour formed of the Queen’s Company First Battalion Grenadier Guards gave a Royal Salute, and the U.S. National Anthem was played, the first couple placing their hands over their hearts, standing on either side of the queen.
President Biden arrived at Windsor Castle from Cornwall where he attended the G7.Getty Images
The president was then led down a row of troops standing at attention on the grass. He had 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.
Photos later showed the president, first lady and Queen Elizabeth inside the castle before tea. Reporters were not allowed in.
After about 45 minutes, the Bidens emerged from the castle and climbed into the black Range Rover that ferried them to the Queen during their arrival.
Moments later, Marine One took off.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth stands with President Biden and first lady Jill Biden.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Before boarding Air Force One for the trip to Belgium, Biden praised the Queen, saying she was “very generous.”
“I don’t think she’d be insulted,” he said. “She reminded me of my mother.”
He also said the monarch had wanted the discussion to go on longer and was interested in learning more about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
“She said, ‘oh no,’” Biden said. “I said I wished we could stay longer, maybe we could hold up the cars a minute and stuff. Anyway she was very gracious.”
During the queen’s nearly 70-year reign, 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 coronavirus pandemic. They are Donald Trump in 2018, Barack Obama in 2016, George W. Bush in 2008 and Ronald Reagan in 1982.
The queen has already met with the Bidens on their visit to Britain, having hosted a reception for the leaders of the Groups of Seven rich nations and their spouses on Friday night in Cornwall, on the southwest tip of England where a three-day summit has been held.
She drew laughter from those attending when she posed for a group photo.
“Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?” Elizabeth said.
The Queen has been carrying out her duties from Windsor Castle during the coronavirus pandemic and following the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in April.
Following his meeting with the Queen, Biden will travel to Belgium for a meeting of the NATO alliance and then head to Switzerland for a summit on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Queens Elizabeth meets with President Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden.AP
On Saturday, Elizabeth celebrated her 95th birthday by watching a military parade at Windsor Castle, including a flyover by the Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.
-With Post wires