G7: Queen and Joe Biden arrive for reception
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The Queen is hosting US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden for a 40-minute-long private meeting and tea at Windsor Castle today. This meeting, the last engagement of the Bidens in the UK before they jet off to Brussels, will mark Her Majesty’s latest show of her soft power with US leaders.
Mr Biden officially met the Queen on Friday during a reception hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Eden Project.
He is the 13th sitting US President the monarch has been introduced to during her 69-year-long reign.
And, royal author Matthew Dennison noted, the Queen has been able to establish a good relationship with all of them, becoming an important asset for her Government in its effort to maintain a special relationship with America.
As an example of the Queen’s charm and the warm bond she created with US Presidents, Mr Dennison recalled a letter she sent to Dwight D Eisenhower, which included a recipe of her drop scones.
The letter from the Queen read: “Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral.
“I now hasten to do so.”
The letter, which was dated January 24, 1960, also included tips on how to carry out the recipe.
Commenting on the letter, Mr Dennison, author of the new biography The Queen, wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “Sovereign and President had met in the autumn of 1957, on the Queen’s first state visit to America, and again two years later when Eisenhower accepted a royal invitation to Balmoral.
READ MORE: Queen in pictures: US presidents meeting the Queen over the years
“The Queen’s letter combined homeliness with informal statecraft.
“‘A great deal of beating,’ she suggested, was key to successful drop scone batter.
“She told the president that she had followed ‘with intense interest and much admiration your tremendous journey to so many countries, but feel we shall never again be able to claim that we are being made to do too much on our future tours!'”
Mr Dennison continued: “The Queen’s letter to Eisenhower was more than recipe sharing.
“At heart, its ingredients were those of royal diplomacy and Her Majesty’s soft power as global statesman.
“Warmth and friendliness are palpable in the four handwritten sides of Buckingham Palace writing paper.”
The Queen’s reference to Mr Eisenhower’s tour showed she was “empathetic and understanding”, being also a world leader used to long journeys across the world, Mr Dennison continued.
He added: “Between writer and recipient, the letter implies, is a special relationship.
“It reflects in miniature the special relationship between their two countries.”
Today, the Queen will welcome the Bidens in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle.
There, yesterday the monarch watched a streamlined Trooping the Colour parade in the company of her cousin the Duke of Kent and was left delighted by the RAF flypast.
In the Quadrangle, the Queen will honour her guests by playing the US national anthem.
Mr Biden will then inspect the Guard of Honour, before joining the Queen and her wife inside the castle for tea.
The last US President to inspect the Guard at Windsor Castle has been Donald Trump in 2018.
He returned to the UK the following year for a state visit and was a guest of the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
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