Nice Work if You Can Get It
President Biden wrapped up a bonhomous Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, and had tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Sunday, but like many Catholics, he began the day at mass.
"I think gobsmacked is probably a very true word," Annie Fitzpatrick, 58, told The Associated Press after Sunday mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in St. Ives. "About 10 minutes into the service the doors opened up and President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden walked in and just sat in the pew just across from me." Biden "quietly got on with his prayer like everyone was doing," she added, and then he "looked around and said peace be with you, and I was one of them so I'm delighted. I'm not sure I will ever get over this moment completely."
After the G7 summit concluded, the Bidens took Air Force One to Heathrow, then boarded Marine One for a short helicopter ride to Windsor Castle. Biden inspected the Guard of Honor, stood next to the queen and the first lady while a band played the U.S. and British national anthems, then went inside for tea. The Bidens spent about 40 minutes inside the castle, and their hourlong visit ran about 10 minutes over schedule, Politico reports. There were no visible breaches of protocol.
Biden was effusive afterward. "I don't think she'd be insulted, but she reminded me of my mother, the look of her and just the generosity," Biden, 78, said of the queen, who turned 95 on Saturday. "She's extremely gracious. That's not surprising, but we had a great talk." He said the queen asked about China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin, and he invited her to the White House. A royal historian told CNN the queen is unlikely to leave Britain again.
The Bidens then flew to London, where the first lady returned to the U.S. while the president traveled on to a NATO summit in Brussels.