During the same trip, the first couple also walked into a church and left churchgoers "gobsmacked." He "quietly got on with his prayer like everyone was doing."
After meeting the Queen during his UK trip, President Joe Biden had nothing but positive things to say about the 95-year-old monarch. The president and first lady paid a visit to Windsor Castle, where the Queen hosted them for a private tea on Sunday, June 13, 2020. Following their 40-minute encounter in the private quarters, Biden told reporters that the Queen reminded him of his mother, Catherine Biden, who was known as Jean in the family.
"I don't think she’d be insulted but she reminded me of my mother, the look of her and just the generosity," Biden told reporters, as quoted by Harper's Bazaar. "She's extremely gracious, that's not surprising, but we had a great talk. She wanted to know what the two leaders that I... the one I'm about to meet with, Mr Putin, and she wanted to know about Xi Jinping, and we had a long talk."
Biden's mother, Jean, had passed away at the age of 92 in the year 2010. While alive, Jean was seen alongside his son during campaigns and was a strong pillar of support after he lost his first wife and daughter in a car accident. "She was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times. She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves," Biden said about his mother in a statement after her death, as quoted by ABC News.
Since Biden took on the role of the President of the United States, this was his first visit to the UK for the Group of Seven (G-7) Summit, and he had briefly met the Queen on Friday, June 11, according to PEOPLE. On Sunday, they met once again for the private tea, which was the Queen's first big engagement since the passing away of her husband, Prince Philip, in the month of April. While they were together, the Queen asked the Bidens about life in the White House. And he made a reference to the 1,000-year-old castle they were being hosted at.
"We could fit the White House in the courtyard," Biden said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. He also invited the Queen to pay them a visit at the White House as well. Biden told reports about his encounter with the Queen, "I said I wish we could stay longer, maybe we could hold the cars up a minute, and stuff." During their time in England, the Bidens also gave a pleasant surprise to churchgoers at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in St. Ives. Those attending mass on Sunday were stunned to see the first couple walk in and join them for the service.
"I think gobsmacked is probably a very true word," said one churchgoer, Annie Fitzpatrick. "It’s quite amazing, we went into the church and they took some details from us and I thought this is a bit unusual. 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." Annie said Biden "quietly got on with his prayer like everyone was doing," and added, "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."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Richard Pohle-WPA Pool and (R) Joe Raedle