Queen welcomes Joe Biden to Windsor Castle as US president’s UK trip continues

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The Queen has welcomed US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden for tea at Windsor Castle.

Mr Biden, who is in the UK for the G7 summit, is the 13th American leader to meet the monarch, with Lyndon B Johnson the only president the Queen has not met during her 69-year reign.

She wore a bright pastel pink to greet the Bidens at the dais in the castle’s quadrangle during the hot and sunny Sunday

A mini Trooping the Colour was held yesterday before the Bidens arrived on the Marine One helicopter this agternoon.

A Guard of Honour formed of The Queen’s Company First Battalion Grenadier Guards gave a Royal Salute, and the US national anthem played to welcome the president.

The Queen meets US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle

Mr Biden, 78, then accompanied the Officer Commanding the Guard of Honour, Major James Taylor, and Major General Christopher Ghika to inspect the Honour Guard, before returning to the dais to watch the military march-past with the Queen and First Lady.

Onlookers said the President and Queen looked relaxed and chatted before they headed inside the castle for tea.

The Bidens met the 95-year-old Queen on Friday when she attended a reception for G7 leaders at the Eden Project, and travelled to her Berkshire royal residence on Sunday after leaving the summit in Cornwall.

It came almost 40 years after Biden first met the Queen, when he was a US senator in 1982.

The Queen received the Bidens at Windsor Castle on Sunday afternoon

Their latest meeting comes the day after the Queen received her official birthday gift from the nation’s armed forces – a ceremony of pomp and pageantry in her honour – which was held at the castle.

The traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony, which is normally staged in London, was ruled out for the second successive year because of the threat of coronavirus.

On Friday, the Queen insisted on borrowing a ceremonial sword to cut a cake during a royal engagement – prompting laughter from the Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge.

The United States national anthem rang out over the grounds of Windsor Castle
(Image: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

The monarch had been handed the sword by Edward Bolitho, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, for the task of cutting a large cake marking the Big Lunch at the Eden Project.

When told by an aide that there was a conventional knife available, the Queen replied: “I know there is, this is more unusual”.

The Duchess of Cornwall commented: “That’s slicing through” before assisting with the final part of cutting the cake, which was loudly applauded by those at the event.

The Queen wore a lively pastel pink for the Bidens' visit as Britain baked on a hot and sunny Sunday
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

After handing the ceremonial sword back, the Queen used a knife to cut a second slice of cake and remarked: “That looks very good.”

Speaking at the Summit, First Lady Mrs Biden said the couple were looking forward to seeing the monarch.

She added: "Joe and I are both looking forward to meeting the Queen.

“That's an exciting part of the visit for us."

The carefully-choreographed arrangements to welcome Mr Biden echo the welcome given to Donald Trump in 2018, when the controversial then-US president travelled to Windsor to meet the monarch.

Mr Trump, who lost the 2020 presidential election to Mr Biden, and the Queen had afternoon tea together in the castle’s Oak Room, with the meeting lasting longer than expected.

It was due to last around half-an-hour, but overran by almost 20 minutes.

In 2008, when then US president George W Bush met with the monarch at Windsor, he enjoyed a traditional English afternoon spread of tea, small sandwiches and cakes in the White Drawing Room.

President Joe Biden and the Queen stand as the US national anthem is played at Windsor Castle
(Image: REUTERS)

In 2018, the Queen accompanied Mr Trump to inspect the Guard of Honour at Windsor.

Escorting a visiting head of state to inspect the troops is a role which usually fell to the late Duke of Edinburgh, before he retired in 2017.

Mrs Biden, meanwhile, met the Duchess of Cambridge for the first time when they visited Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, Cornwall amid the G7 summit on Friday.

US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden arrive on US helicopter Marine One at Windsor Castle
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

In an article for CNN, the pair wrote that early childhood care and education should be among “the defining strategic issues of our time".

They called for a “fundamental shift” in the approach to a key life stage in a joint article based on their shared passion for improving early years development.

The Prince of Wales urged G7 leaders to display the same sense of urgency in tackling climate change as they showed in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

At a reception with leaders including Boris Johnson and Joe Biden on Friday, Charles said the Covid-19 pandemic had shown what a “truly borderless crisis” looks like.

“Of course, we did not fully see Covid coming,” he said.

“Yet climate change and biodiversity loss represent a borderless crisis, the solutions to which have been argued about and postponed for far too long.”

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