After the G7 summit officially wrapped up Sunday in Cornwall, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden had one more pressing commitment — an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. The occasion made Biden the 13th sitting U.S. president whom the Queen has met, and the fourth to take a meeting at Windsor Castle, where the Queen has been living since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Windsor was also where Prince Philip’s funeral took place in April.
Dressed to impress, the president wore a dark suit and FLOTUS turned up in a powder blue suit dress with a coordinating blazer and a brooch on the lapel. After arriving in a Range Rover, the first couple chatted with the Queen. The president wore his signature aviator sunglasses for the first few minutes.
During the visit, Biden inspected the Guard of Honour, the British Army’s most senior regiment of Foot Guards. Following a Royal Salute, the Guard of Honour played the U.S. national anthem.
Afterward, the couple joined the Queen, who was decked in a pink flowered dress by Stewart Parvin, in the Windsor State Apartments where they had tea, sandwiches and cake, with the Queen pouring the tea herself, according to British press reports.
The appointment at Windsor capped the Bidens’ visit to the U.K. for the G7 summit in Cornwall, which wrapped earlier on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said G7 nations were pledging one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for poorer nations, and working toward achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, at the very latest.
This week the Bidens will fly to Brussels and later to Geneva for talks with NATO leaders, and with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Biden will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16, their first meeting since Biden took office earlier this year.
While the president and other world leaders discussed climate change, trade, cybersecurity, China and other key issues over the last few days in Cornwall, FLOTUS had her own agenda to tend to off-site.
Veterans, military families and the importance of early education were three of the issues FLOTUS focused on during her appearances around the G7 Summit and her first official trip abroad in her new role. After Sunday’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth, Jill Biden planned to meet with U.K. veterans, who took part in Walk of America, a 1,000-mile trek across the U.S. for which she served as patron. FLOTUS, whose father and stepson served in the U.S. military, addressed military families upon arrival in the U.K. last week.
Sitting down with representatives from the Bude Surf Veterans, a volunteer organization that provides social support and surfing excursions for veterans, at an outdoor picnic table Saturday at the Newlyn Art Gallery, the first lady introduced herself, “‘So, I’m Jill,’” before discussing the therapeutic benefits of the ocean, as well as other non-traditional ways to help veterans. Biden, who spent her 70th birthday earlier this month at the first family’s beach house in Delaware, mentioned that she has a white surfboard with a butterfly on it. Chatting about different countries, Biden mentioned to Saturday’s group that Australia and New Zealand are two countries she has yet to visit.
“I feel like I’m a partner on this journey of healing, bringing together and unity,” Biden told a pool reporter from “PBS NewsHour” Saturday. “It’s a global, [thing] right. It’s a global kind of thing, and that’s what I hear from the other spouses as well.”
A lifelong educator, who has a summer break from her English professor post at Northern Virginia Community College, Biden and her team have opted thus far not to speak publicly about her fashion choices. Despite that, the power of appearance to deliver a message appears to have been given a considerable amount of attention, as evidenced by FLOTUS’ three wardrobe changes on Friday. Even without mentioning fashion, the first lady has been giving American designers Gabriela Hearst, Brandon Maxwell and Michael Kors global attention at key G7 appearances. While Joe Biden’s next orders of business includes a meeting with Vladimir Putin, the first lady is scheduled to depart for the U.S. Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris showed allegiance for New York-based designer Prabal Gurung, by sporting a crepe de chine blazer and T-shirt imprinted with “LOVE IS LOVE” from his collection to march in Saturday’s LGBTQ Pride parade in Washington, D.C.