London (CNN) – Joe Biden is going to be cared for in style when he and his wife, “Jill from Philly,” meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle this Sunday.
To welcome the 46th president, Queen Elizabeth will host a guard of honor consisting of the Grenadier Guards in the famous castle courtyard, as announced by Buckingham Palace. The Guards, one of the longest-serving units in the British Army, will salute and the United States national anthem will be played.
The queen has hosted four other presidents at Windsor: Trump in 2018; Obama in 2016; George W. Bush in 2008; and Reagan in 1982.
The president will then inspect the troops before meeting with the queen and first lady to watch the military parade. Afterwards, the group will head to the castle for tea. During our talk with Prince Edward, he talked about the opportunity for Biden to be reunited with his mother and how others have reacted to spending time with her.
“When you meet someone who has had that level of personal knowledge and experience, it’s, I mean, sometimes it’s fun and it can slightly overwhelm some people,” the 57-year-old reflected. And I think most people can walk away wishing they had a little more time. That is usually the answer: I wish I had a little more time, because it was fascinating.
Ahead of the weekend’s big reunion, royalty is running some kind of sympathy drive at the G7 in Cornwall. The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, as well as William and Catherine, will attend the summit for a reception at the world-famous Eden Project, an astonishing collection of biomes, one of which is home to the largest covered rainforest on Earth. .
Kate met with the first lady on Friday. The Duchess has long been a champion of early childhood education. They both participated in a panel discussion on the subject and visited a school in Cornwall.
Rules for Biden to Follow When Meeting the Queen
A meeting with the queen can be intimidating … even if you are a world leader. The queen has met with almost every president of the United States who has taken office during her long reign.
No doubt, Biden will want to make a good impression on his first trip abroad, and he will probably want to follow the conventions established for his encounter with the 95-year-old monarch. This is a quick rundown of the royal rules for the match.
What you should do
- According to the family’s website, there is no mandatory code of conduct for greeting royalty. However, he acknowledges that some may choose to observe “traditional ways.”
- That basically means that the queen doesn’t expect people to bow down to her, although many do anyway. For men, it can be a gentle bow of the head, while women can opt for a small bow. You can also add a handshake (if she offers it to you first) but, in any case, the secret is not to overdo it.
- When meeting the queen, tradition dictates that she speak first. In response, the correct way is to first address her as “Your Majesty” before changing to “Madam.” And in case you’re wondering, there’s a pronunciation preference: it must be “Ma’am” to rhyme with “jam” in English. Whatever you do, don’t use his first name.
- Although royal protocols have been relaxed in recent years, one important tip is to follow the queen’s lead. If she walks, you follow her; if he sits down, you too; and if it is a dinner, better wait for it to start before eating. We all remember Donald Trump’s blunder when he blocked the queen’s path and then beat her to it during his visit to Windsor.
What you should avoid
- Do not be late. According to Debrett’s, the leading authority on British etiquette, ‘it is correct that everyone arrives before the royal personage and protocol states that no guest should leave an event before a member of the royal family, except in special circumstances where prior permission must be obtained. ‘ If you need to sneak around, be sure to ask for permission first through a private secretary.
- It may seem obvious, but don’t touch the queen without her consent. She is the one who initiates any contact … at most it will be a handshake. In 2017, then-Governor General of Canada David Johnston made headlines when he put his hand on the queen’s elbow during a visit to the House of Canada in London. Johnston later said he was simply “anxious” about the slippery carpet and opted to forgo the convention “to make sure there were no stumbling blocks.”
- And it’s probably best to avoid giving a hug. It was quite a frenzy in 2009 when then-first lady Michelle Obama instinctively hugged the queen (which in a way she reciprocated). The UK media made a killing, with conflicting remarks on the timing. That said, Obama recalled a subsequent visit to Windsor Castle in 2016, in which she was concerned about royal protocol, but the queen brushed it off, declaring that “it was all bullshit.”
Other things to consider
You can bring a gift, but make sure it is appropriate for the occasion. Official gifts enter the Royal Collection, one of the largest private art collections in the world, even if they are given to a specific member of the family.
So what to give the monarch who has everything? Well, it is complicated. Trump opted for a Tiffany & Co. silver and silk poppy brooch in a custom White House wooden jewelry box in a red leather case when he returned to the UK for a state visit in 2019. His predecessor took one direction. Different, as Obama gifted the queen with an iPod preloaded with Broadway songs and videos from her trip to the United States in 2007.
You’re confused? Okay, so this is the only rule to stick to: when in doubt, don’t do it. The last thing you want is to try to follow the nuanced and often unspoken rules of royalty and end up falling into the trap. After all, America is not a kingdom or territory of the queen. Following protocol is polite, but it is not the law. The president is not going to be barred from returning if he slips. Ultimately, it’s up to Biden what he does or doesn’t do… even if we’re all watching.