WORLD

Queen Elizabeth set to meet Biden in person

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Buckingham Palace confirmed Thursday that Queen Elizabeth II will welcome US President Joe Biden after he visits the G7 conference on June 13 for her first in-person visit with a foreign leader in over a year.

The president and First Lady Jill Biden will meet the 95-year-old monarch at Windsor Castle, west of London, where she has largely resided since the coronavirus pandemic first swept Britain in March 2020.

The Queen has been holding the vast majority of meetings virtually, including audiences with foreign ambassadors, after receiving her two doses of Covid-19 vaccination.

It will be her first face-to-face meeting with a foreign head of state since the outbreak, and her most high-profile official engagement since presiding over parliament’s state opening on May 11.

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It was the Queen’s first public appearance since her husband Prince Philip’s funeral. He died on April 9, aged 99.

In a statement of condolence then, the Bidens paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh. “His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped,” they wrote.

The visit with the president and first lady will take place the day after the Queen’s official birthday and immediately after the Group of Seven leaders’ three-day summit in Cornwall, southwest England.

Biden’s first international trip since becoming office began with the G7 summit. He’ll also stop in Brussels for a NATO summit and Geneva for a June 16 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Queen has met every US president during her 69-year reign, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson. In June of this year, Donald Trump paid a divisive state visit to the United Kingdom.

The official birthday celebration is usually marked with a military procession known as “Trooping the Colour,” which draws hundreds of soldiers from Britain’s most illustrious regiments.

But it has been cancelled for a second year, owing to the pandemic.

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