Queen welcomes Joe and Jill Biden for tea at Windsor Castle

·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read

Watch: President Biden, first lady meet Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen has met her 13th US president after she welcomed Joe and Jill Biden to Windsor Castle for tea on Sunday afternoon.

The Queen briefly met the couple on Friday evening in Cornwall as part of a reception the Royal Family held for world leaders, but was able to sit down with them for longer during afternoon tea.

After arriving at the castle, the Bidens were greeted by the Queen on the dais at the Quadrangle where a Guard of Honour assembled.

Biden 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 Dr Biden.

He also granted permission for the Guard to continue their duties.

Inspecting a Guard of Honour with a visiting head of state is a job that used to go to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Read more: Queen celebrates official birthday with scaled back Trooping the Colour

Queen Elizabeth II (centre) with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in the Grand Corridor during their visit to Windsor Castle in Berkshire. Picture date: Sunday June 13, 2021.
The Queen posed for an official photograph with the Bidens in the Grand Corridor in Windsor. (PA Images)
US President Joe Biden (R) and US First Lady Jill Biden (L) stand beside Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as a Guard of Honour formed of The Queen's Company First Battalion Grenadier Guards give a Royal Salute during the US National Athem at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on June 13, 2021. - US president Biden will visit Windsor Castle late Sunday, where he and First Lady Jill Biden will take tea with the queen. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
The Bidens put their hands over their hearts when the US national anthem was played. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Queen Elizabeth II (C), US President Joe Biden (R) and US First Lady Dr Jill Biden (L) at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2021 in Windsor, England.  Queen Elizabeth II hosts US President, Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden at Windsor Castle. The President arrived from Cornwall where he attended the G7 Leader's Summit and will travel on to Brussels for a meeting of NATO Allies and later in the week he will meet President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. (Photo by Samir Hussein - Pool/WireImage)
After the president inspected the Guard of Honour, he rejoined the Queen and his wife on the dais. (Samir Hussein - Pool/WireImage)
Queen Elizabeth II (right) with First Lady Jill Biden during her visit to Windsor Castle in Berkshire. Picture date: Sunday June 13, 2021.
The Queen with First Lady Jill Biden during her visit to Windsor Castle in Berkshire. (PA Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13:  US President Joe Biden and Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2021 in Windsor, England.  Queen Elizabeth II hosts US President, Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden at Windsor Castle. The President arrived from Cornwall where he attended the G7 Leader's Summit and will travel on to Brussels for a meeting of NATO Allies and later in the week he will meet President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Queen led the couple into her home for tea. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The Queen wore a Stewart Parvin dress in a floral print jacquard in shades of pink, olive and russet, with matching hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, and donned white gloves for the occasion.

She had the diamond Jardine star brooch on.

Biden wore a dark suit and was wearing aviator sunglasses when he arrived, though he took these off to inspect the Guard. The first lady, Dr Biden, wore a powder blue suit.

The Queen was formally welcomed by the Grenadier Guards at the castle, with the national anthem, before the Bidens were driven to the Quadrangle..

The band played the US national anthem when the president and the first lady arrived. The Queen was spotted chatting to each of them as they stood either side of her during the small ceremony.

She also made the president laugh at one point, after he had inspected the guard.

US President Joe Biden (C) joins the Major General Christopher Ghika (L) in inspecting the Guard of Honour formed of The Queen's Company First Battalion Grenadier Guards at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on June 13, 2021. - US president Biden will visit Windsor Castle late Sunday, where he and First Lady Jill Biden will take tea with the queen. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Joe Biden (C) joins the Major General Christopher Ghika (L) in inspecting the Guard of Honour formed of The Queen's Company First Battalion Grenadier Guards. (Tolga Akmen/AFP)
US President Joe Biden inspects a Guard of Honour during a visit to Windsor Castle in Berkshire to meet Queen Elizabeth II. Picture date: Sunday June 13, 2021.
US President Joe Biden inspects a Guard of Honour during a visit to Windsor Castle. (PA Images)

After the official welcome, the Queen led the president and the first lady into the castle, introducing them to her lady-in-waiting Dame Annabel Whitehead.

As they walked in, the Queen was heard asking Biden about the G7 summit in Cornwall, saying: "You completed your talks."

He replied: "Yes we did."

The Queen served them tea, along with cake and sandwiches, and the Bidens will likely have an opportunity to meet the royal dogs.

Watch: G7 summit: President Biden and First Lady greeted by Queen as they arrive at Windsor Castle for tea

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) waits to greet US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on June 13, 2021 for an engagement with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. - US president Biden will visit Windsor Castle late Sunday, where he and First Lady Jill Biden will take tea with the queen. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen waiting to greet Joe Biden and Jill Biden at Windsor Castle. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)
US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden disembark from Airforce One at Heathrow, west of London, on June 13, 2021. - US president Biden will visit Windsor Castle late Sunday, where he and First Lady Jill Biden will take tea with the queen. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
The Bidens disembark from Airforce One at Heathrow before meeting the Queen. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)
US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden disembark from US helicopter Marine One at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on June 13, 2021. - US president Biden will visit Windsor Castle late Sunday, where he and First Lady Jill Biden will take tea with the queen. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
The president and first lady disembark from US helicopter Marine One at Windsor Castle. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)
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Ahead of the meeting, the Royal Family shared a picture of Windsor Castle on Twitter, explaining that Biden is the fourth president in recent years to be welcomed there.

However on this visit, the Queen is living at Windsor full time, having moved there before the UK lockdown in March 2020.

Donald Trump, who Biden succeeded, was also received at Windsor in 2018, as protests in London meant it was deemed safer to be away from Buckingham Palace.

On that occasion the Queen joined with him to inspect the guard.

They then had tea in the Oak Room of the castle, with the meeting taking longer than was initially planned, at 50 minutes instead of the scheduled half an hour.

The Bidens were ahead of schedule to meet the Queen on Sunday, and entered the Sovereigns Entrance at 5.18pm. They left the castle at 6.03pm where they boarded the Marine One helicopter.

Dr Biden is to return to the US, and the president will go onto Brussels.

It is believed the visit overran by 10 minutes.

ST AUSTELL, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: United States President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and Queen Elizabeth II chat at a drinks reception for Queen Elizabeth II and G7 leaders at at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021 in St Austell, Cornwall, England. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit. This year the UK has invited India, South Africa, and South Korea to attend the Leaders' Summit as guest countries as well as the EU. (Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and the Queen chatted at a drinks reception for Queen Elizabeth II and G7 leaders at at The Eden Project on Friday. (Jack Hill - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Read more: A quarter of US history: Stunning pictures show the Queen meeting 13 presidents over 70 years

Biden gave waiting reporters at Heathrow some insight into the meeting afterwards, telling them the Queen was "gracious" and "generous" and said she reminded him of his mother.

He said they had spoken about Russian president Vladimir Putin and China’s leader Xi Jinping.

He also said he invited her to the White House and that she had asked what life was like there.

The Queen, 95, has had a busy weekend of engagements, with a packed day on Friday in Cornwall, meeting world leaders at the G7, and attending an event for the Big Lunch.

The Big Lunch scheme aims to unite neighbours and communities and will be a part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

On Saturday she celebrated her official birthday with the Trooping the Colour parade at Windsor, the second year in a row it has been held there.

The ceremony was still smaller than usual, though bigger than last year, with nearly 300 members of the armed forces, compared with about 85 in 2020.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: attends a military ceremony in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle to mark her Official Birthday on June 12, 2021 at Windsor Castle on June 12, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Queen enjoying her 2021 Trooping the Colour celebration. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 12: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (in his role as Colonel of the Scots Guards) attends a military parade, held by the Household Division (during which The Queen's Colour of F Company Scots Guards will be trooped) in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle, to mark her Official Birthday on June 12, 2021 in Windsor, England. For the second consecutive year The Queen's Birthday Parade, known as Trooping the Colour, hasn't been able to go ahead in it's traditional form at Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo - Pool/Getty Images)
This year the Duke of Kent was able to be with her for the outside event. (Max Mumby/Indigo - Pool/Getty Images)

Read more: Is the Queen really that bothered about breaches of royal protocol?

The Queen also had company as she invited her cousin the Duke of Kent to join her. 

Last year she watched alone because of restrictions around household mingling.

The Queen has met all but one US president who has worked during her 69-year reign. She never met Lyndon B Johnson.

Sunday afternoon's meeting is a further sign of her commitment to the office of Head of State, despite her age.

Watch: Joe Biden's meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle will be 'huge honour' for US president

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