Portland News

President Joe Biden pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II in London over the weekend

US President Joe Biden and his First Lady travel to London for the Queen's funeral
US President Joe Biden and his First Lady travel to London for the Queen's funeral

Image source: NY1

On Sunday, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Westminster Hall in London to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

The condolence books were signed by the Bidens at Lancaster House as they visited his casket.

The US President described the Queen as “the same in person as her image—decent, honorable, and all about service.”

After signing the condolence book on Sunday evening, Biden said, “We’ve had an opportunity to meet with an awful lot of consequential people.”

“But I can say that the ones who stand out in your mind are those whose relationship and interaction with you are consistent with their reputation.”


The US President is known to have spoken of his losses, and he sent his condolences to the UK and the Royal Family.

“It’s a loss that leaves a giant hole, and sometimes you’ll think you’ll never overcome it,” he said.

“But as I’ve told the King, she’s going to be with him every step of the way.”

Adding that the queen’s mannerisms brought back memories of her late mother, Biden said:

“She had that look, like, ‘Are you okay? Is there anything I can do for you? What do you need? Also, ‘Make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.’”

The US President wrote a long message in the condolence book.

Meanwhile, Jill Biden shared that she was overwhelmed with the love and respect she had for the Queen in London.

The Bidens were joined by Jane Hartley, the US ambassador to the UK, during their visit to Westminster Hall.

They also attended a reception on Sunday evening at Buckingham Palace for visiting foreign leaders, hosted by King Charles III.

“We really talked about the woman, and who she was, and what she meant really to the whole world,” shared Jill Biden.

She has had conversations about the queen with King Charles III and the royal family.

Read also: President Joe Biden and world leaders mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Biden’s reflection

The president of the United States arrived in London on Saturday for a two-day visit in honor of the longest-serving monarch.

He was joined by leaders from dozens of other countries to pay their respects. The last time Biden met the queen was in 2021.

They first met in 1982, when Biden was a young senator.

Her mother, an Irish-American, told him, “Don’t you bow down to her.”

From that point on, until their meeting last year, he never bowed down, but he said he had great respect for the queen.

“She was a great lady,” he said the day she died. “We’re so delighted we got to meet her.”

Last year, the queen’s decision to travel to the Cornish coast to meet world leaders at the G7 summit surprised everyone.

It also showed other leaders their desire to stay involved in world affairs.

This week, while inviting Biden and the First Lady to tea at Windsor Castle, the Queen asked about two authoritarian leaders: President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.

“I loved her sense of curiosity,” Jill Biden said of her alone time with the Queen.

“She wanted to know all about American politics, so she asked Joe question after question.”

Biden and the King

At the Sunday evening reception, President Joe Biden saw Charles for the first time since becoming king.

They had already met and talked on the phone last week.

Before he became king, Charles was the Prince of Wales and an avid supporter of issues consistent with Biden’s goals, including the fight against climate change.

The two are also close in age (Biden at 79 and Charles at 73) and have a shared experience of being in the public eye for decades before becoming heads of state for their respective countries.

During the phone call, Biden spoke of the American people’s admiration for the queen and said he wanted to continue a “close relationship with the king.”

Read also: President Biden reaches out to King Charles III via call, offers condolences

Funeral and security

When Biden and other world leaders arrived to commemorate the late queen, security in the British capital rose to its highest level.

White House officials declined to provide security details for the US president’s visit but shared that they are working with their British counterparts to ensure presidential security requirements are met.

Before the queen’s death, plans were made for her funeral, giving American advisers an idea of what would happen in the coming days for security arrangements.

The White House announced that it had only received one invitation for the president and the first lady.


Biden in London: Queen Elizabeth II was ‘decent, honorable, and all about service’

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.