(CNN) – As Joe Biden was preparing for his first audience with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a young senator, his mother – an Irish American surnamed Finnegan – had some advice.
« Bow down not in front of her, « she told him in 1982, according to a Biden memoir published a few years ago.
He then described her as an » extremely lovely « woman who reminded him of the mother who gave him 40 years ago had given this advice.
When he and his wife arrived in a dark Range Rover in the inner fours of Windsor Castle, Biden showed up wearing signature aviator glasses as he stood up to have a brief chat with the 95-year-old monarch .
Only after listening to the « Star Spangled Banner » did Biden take off his glasses to examine a cordon of red-clad grenadier guards with bearskin hats. Biden and the Queen then entered the castle for their private conversations. They were heard in easy conversation.
Biden is now the twelfth incumbent US President to meet the Queen during her reign, joining a legacy of American leaders who are a global icon and a living piece of history pay their respects.
He and First Lady Jill Biden met her at Windsor Castle, her home outside London. It was her first personal conversation with a global market leader since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. And it is one of her first public engagements since her husband, Prince Philip, died earlier this year at the age of 99.
The meeting followed the end of Biden’s first G7 summit on England’s southwest coast, which ended on Sunday afternoon . Biden spent his first international trip trying to revive American alliances with the world’s richest democracies. After meeting the Queen, he will travel to Brussels, where he will spend two days meeting other US allies at NATO headquarters and the European Union before heading to Geneva to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet.
« We have just completed an extraordinary and collaborative and productive meeting at the G7, » Biden said at a press conference after the G7 and before his meeting with the Queen. « Everyone at the table understood and understood the seriousness of the challenges we face and the responsibility of our proud democracies to stand up and deliver for the rest of the world. »
His first encounter with the British monarch in this one Week took place on Friday evening when she met with world leaders at a reception in a biosphere in Cornwall. After posing for a photo, she gave the staged camaraderie a slight nudge.
She was later pictured in a friendly conversation with Biden and his wife outside the futuristic domes, her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla in the background Drinks clutched.
The occasion on Sunday was more personal as only Biden and his wife met the Queen at their home.
The President said the Queen wanted something about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden on Wednesday and know Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Before leaving the UK, Biden said at Heathrow Airport that he wished he could have spoken longer with the Queen.
« She has been very generous » said Biden. He said he didn’t think she would be offended if he said she « reminds me of my mother in terms of her looks and her generosity ».
For Biden, this is one of a long list of previous moments who also visited one of the most famous women in the world. As a history student who has consumed biographies of previous presidents, this moment is a living connection with the office he now holds.
The Queen also supports Biden’s efforts to make this week’s G7 and NATO summits a wartime urgency, including the renewal of the Atlantic Charter signed by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Second World War. The Queen served as an army mechanic in the war.
« The Queen was a source of inspiration for me, as it was for so many people around the world, » said President Barack Obama during a 2016 visit to London when Prince Philip gave him a rank Marine One’s rovers drove to the doors of Windsor Castle. « She really is one of my favorite people. »
President Donald Trump also had a special affection for Queen Elizabeth after watching his own mother – born in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland – watch her coronation on television with attentiveness .
Unlike Trump or Obama, Biden is not an Anglophile. He is a proud Irish American who referred (sometimes in jest) to the long British rule over his ancestral island. This week, he confronted Prime Minister Boris Johnson on issues related to Northern Ireland, concerned that Britain’s exit from the European Union would jeopardize the hard-won peace there.
And one of the first things he said on Wednesday when he landed in the United States Kingdom did was to quote William Butler Yeats, the most famous Irish poet of the 20th century, from his poem about the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule. He also cited the American Declaration of Independence.
Aside from Irish allegiances, it was unlikely that Biden voiced his grievances when he sat down with the British monarch on Sunday afternoon.
« Joe and I are both looking forward to to meet the Queen. It’s an exciting part of the visit for us, ”Jill Biden told reporters this week. « We have been looking forward to it for weeks and now the time has finally come. It’s a nice start. »
US President Biden and the First Lady meet Queen Elizabeth II after her first G7 summit
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