The Queen is preparing to host President Joe Biden ahead of the G7 summit in June – but things will look a little different compared to the last time a president visited.
The British royal family are expected to offer Biden a considerably warmer welcome than was afforded to former president Donald Trump when he visited in 2018 and 2019.
For one, Prince Charles and Prince William will actually be present this time.
The two controversially snubbed Trump on his first visit in July 2018 and left the Queen to host him on her own.
The already tense relations between Trump and the UK were exacerbated when he was met with large-scale protests that gripped the city of London, demonstrating how unwelcome the then-POTUS was.
Featured in the protests was an enormous, inflatable replica of angry ‘baby Trump’ wearing a nappy.
Unlike the 74-year-old then leader of the US, the inflatable imitation was welcomed in multiple locations including France, Argentina, Ireland, Scotland and Denmark, and now sits in the Museum of London.
Biden has also received a formal, written invitation to tour the Commons from Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the speaker of the house – an invitation not extended to Trump.
In fact, John Bercow, who was the speaker at the time of Trump’s visit, specifically vetoed the possibility of Trump speaking in Parliament, despite the fact that the honour was given to Barack Obama in 2011.
The following year, Trump forwent many of the traditional procedures of a presidential visit to the UK.
But the Queen, who has met with every US President except Lyndon B Johnson since her ascension to the throne in 1952, was less than impressed with the way Trump left her prized gardens.
Instead of arriving by car, he opted to fly to Buckingham Palace twice in one day via helicopter in order to avoid the thousands of protesters who gathered to show their disapproval.
The 94-year-old was reportedly aggrieved that the helicopters had left scorch marks on her gardens, and confided in Prime Minister Scott Morrison the following day.
“[Mr Morrison] had got off the plane and went straight to the palace to see the Queen, who led him out to the gardens and said, ‘Come and look at my lawn. It’s ruined’,” a source close to Mr Morrison said.
Biden’s warm welcome
Despite the sour taste left in their mouths by the Trump administration, the British royals seem to be looking to revitalise the relations between the two powerhouse nations.
Prince Charles, a vocal and passionate environmental advocate, is said to be thrilled that Biden snagged the top job, and his royal aides have confirmed he has written to the newly inaugurated President to congratulate him.
This is likely due to the fact that Biden signed a number of executive orders addressing climate change and reversing some of Trump’s policies.
Biden also received a private, congratulatory letter from the Queen ahead of his January 20 inauguration.
The POTUS is expected to join the monarch for a one-on-one meeting ahead of the G7 summit, which will be her first notable diplomatic event following her return to London from Windsor, where she has hunkered down during the COVID pandemic.
Joining the Her Majesty and Biden in Cornwall for the summit will be multiple world leaders including British PM Boris Johnson, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Mr Morrison.
Following the summit, a ‘soft power’ reception will be held alongside Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince William and Kate Middleton which will focus on solidifying relations between the UK and the US.