President Joe Biden caused a stir on Monday when he appeared to breach royal protocol by touching King Charles III at a visiting ceremony at Windsor Castle, while the monarch lost his cool after a Welsh guard spent too much time at the castle. Engaging the President in conversation.
Mr Biden arrived in the UK late on Sunday and spent the night at the US embassy in London, where he met the King and a group of business leaders, along with several US and UK officials, to wrap up the day’s engagements.
Mr Biden raised eyebrows among longtime palace watchers by placing his hand on the monarch’s elbow as the two men shook hands after Charles arrived by helicopter for their first one-on-one meeting since he became King last year.
Following those warm greetings, the President placed his hand on the King’s back as they reviewed the Welsh Guards assembled in Windsor Quadrangle, and moments later the King reciprocated a similar gesture.
The pair were seen smiling and in good spirits as they strolled around the palace grounds, with Charles attempting to rush Mr Biden at one point as they reviewed the guard of honour.
Engaging in conversation with one of the soldiers he was considering, Mr Biden failed to heed the king’s polite advice to keep moving.
Although protocol dictates that the monarch should not normally be touched, a Buckingham Palace source said. People Mr Biden said he had not breached protocol and was “absolutely comfortable” with the King meeting.
“It was a wonderful symbol of warmth and affection between individuals and their countries,” they said.
The King and Mr Biden have met several times during their public lives, with their two most recent meetings coming at the COP26 summit in Glasgow and a Buckingham Palace reception during the 2021 G7 summit.
At both those times, their respective efforts to combat climate change were on hand, and the same topic was on the agenda during Mr Biden’s visit to the king.
The two participated in what the White House described as a “climate engagement” featuring Her Majesty and several “philanthropists and investors,” including the chief executives of Bank of America, Prudential and BlackRock, as well as US climate ambassador John Kerry. and British Secretary of State for Grand Shops, Energy Security and Net Zero.
Mr Shabbs told reporters that British officials were “very pleased” that the deflationary legislation signed by Mr Biden last year had achieved “advanced clean energy targets”.
Mr Biden’s audience with the monarch came immediately after a 42-minute visit to Number 10 Downing Street for tea with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
As he sat in the back garden with the prime minister, Mr Biden said the relationship between the US and the UK continued to move in a “positive” and “solid” way.
Joe Biden meets the monarch at Windsor Castle
The US president, who has met his British prime minister five times in the past five months, joked that it was “good to be back” and commented that he and Mr Sunak “only meet once a month”.
For his part, the British prime minister said he and Mr Biden would use the brief bilateral meeting to discuss “how to strengthen our cooperation” and “joint economic security for the benefit of our citizens”.
“We stand as two solid partners in that alliance, and I know we will want to do everything we can to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security,” he said.
Following his meeting with the monarch, Mr Biden left London for Vilnius, where he will attend a summit of NATO leaders before heading to Helsinki for a meeting with Nordic leaders.