For President Joe Biden, it’s the cruisers. For his wife, first lady Jill Biden, it was tea.
Joe and Jill Biden on Sunday helped honor Queen Elizabeth II by sharing memories of their tea time last year when she invited them to join her at Windsor Castle, near London.
The president, who said after his 2021 visit that Elizabeth reminded him of his late mother, recalled Sunday that she had continued to gift him yachts. He did not refuse.
“I kept eating everything she put in front of me,” he said. “But she is just like… her image: decent, honorable, and all about service.”
The Queen, who was Britain’s longest-serving monarch, died earlier this month after 70 years on the throne. Biden is among hundreds of heads of state and other dignitaries who are in London for her state funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey.
The first lady told the AP news agency in a phone interview after she and the president attended a reception at Buckingham Palace that “what really struck me” about the queen was that “she was warm.” How oppressive and benevolent.”
“I like her sense of curiosity. She wanted to know all about American politics and so she asked Joe question after question,” said Jill Biden. She says sitting in Elizabeth’s living room is “almost like being with your grandmother.”
“And she said, ‘Let me pour the tea,’ and we said, ‘No, no, let us help,’ and she said, ‘Oh, no, no, no, I’ll take this. You sit down,” Jill Biden said. “And it was just a very special moment for a very special woman.”
The women paid their respects to the queen on Sunday by going to Westminster Hall, where she is lying in state, to stand in front of the king’s coffin in front of rows of spectators. Thousands of mourners spent hours waiting to submit their applications.
They then signed their condolence books at Lancaster House before heading to Buckingham Palace for a reception hosted by King Charles III and other members of the royal family for world leaders who had flown in for the funeral.
After signing the book, Biden said his heart for the royal family as the queen’s death left it with a “huge hole”.
“Sometimes you think you’ll never, never get over it,” Biden, who often says in very personal ways about the loss of his first wife and infant daughter. and later an adult son. “But as I told the king, she will be with him every step of the way – every minute, every moment. And that’s a reassuring notion. ”
While viewing the coffin on Sunday, the first lady said she saw a boy in a Boy Scout uniform walk in and salute the queen with three fingers.
“I mean, it just makes my throat hurt,” she said, showing “how much the people really love their queen, no matter what age they are.”
President Biden wrote in his condolence notebook that the queen “is admired throughout the world for her unwavering commitment to service.”
The first lady signed a separate book of condolence for the couple and the ambassadors, writing, “Queen Elizabeth has lived her life to the fullest for her people. She served with wisdom and grace. We will never forget her warmth, kindness and the conversations we shared.”
In the interview, Jill Biden warned that there was a “human piece” to the queen’s death.
Speaking of Charles, she said: “He’s king, but no one should forget, he’s lost his mother and, you know, Prince William has lost a grandmother. Sometimes we tend to forget the real part of people and the sadness they…have to endure and how they have to grieve in public. But they seem to be doing well,” she said.
More than 2,000 people are expected to be at Westminster Abbey for Monday’s funeral.