Biden dons aviators as queen goes on charm offensive

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President Joe Biden donned his trademark aviator sunglasses to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle as she leads a royal effort to charm the new commander in chief.

First lady Jill Biden, in a pale blue suit jacket and dress, helped her Irish American husband up a couple of steps to greet the British monarch outside of London, neither of them bowing nor curtsying to her before a rendition of the U.S. national anthem played.

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Joe Biden, the 13th president to have an audience with the queen, then inspected her First Battalion Grenadier Guards assembled under a hot British sun in the castle's quadrangle before rejoining the monarch, who wore a floral dress and matching pink hat, under a white canopy.

The trio chatted and smiled throughout the ceremony before the queen took the first couple into her private apartment for tea, what was supposed to be a private affair.

US President Joe Biden reaches out to hold the hand of First Lady Jill Biden after arriving to meet Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle near London, Sunday, June 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) Alberto Pezzali/AP

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II stands with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden as they listen to the US national anthem at Windsor Castle near London, Sunday, June 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) Alberto Pezzali/AP

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden smile while standing with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II watching a Guard of Honour march past before their meeting at Windsor Castle near London, Sunday, June 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool) Matt Dunham/AP

Biden later revealed the queen quizzed him about Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia President Vladimir Putin, with whom he is meeting this week in Geneva, as well as about life in the White House. The president described her as "very gracious,” adding he had invited to her visit the executive mansion.

“She reminded me of my mother," he said before boarding Air Force One for a NATO summit in Brussels.

The queen met the Bidens last week on the sidelines of the G-7 summit for a beachside photo opportunity and dinner reception in Cornwall, a city in England's southwest. The first lady also joined an early education-focused event at a local school with Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and likely future queen consort.

"That’s an exciting part of the visit for us. We’ve looked forward to this for weeks, and now it’s finally here. It’s a beautiful beginning," Jill Biden said before the royal encounters.

The first lady later snapped at a reporter who asked whether she sought advice from the duchess about the queen.

“No, I didn’t. We’ve been busy. Were you not in that room? We were talking education," she said.

Joe Biden was first introduced to the queen in 1982 when he was a Delaware senator and delegate to the British-American Parliamentary Group. The president wrote in one of his memoirs that his mother, Catherine "Jean" Finnegan Biden, who was of Irish descent, told him not to bow.

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He is the fifth president to be hosted by the queen at Windsor Castle, the backdrop of Prince Harry's and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex's wedding in 2018. This is the queen's first series of in-person engagements amid the pandemic and since her husband, Prince Philip, died in April, and it appeared to be a charm offensive after scandals involving Prince Andrew and the Sussexes.

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Tags: News, Biden, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: Biden dons aviators as queen goes on charm offensive

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