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 her 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 for speaking out about his losses and offering his condolences to Britain 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.”
Biden added that the Queen’s manners brought back memories of his late mother, who 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 the people 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 Sunday evening reception at Buckingham Palace for the visit of 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 had discussions about the queen with King Charles III and the royal family.
The President of the United States arrived in London on Saturday for a two-day visit to honor the longest-serving monarch.
He was accompanied 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.
His mother, an Irish-American, told him, “Don’t you bow down to her.”
From then until they met last year, he never bowed but said he had great respect for the Queen.
“She was a great lady,” he said on 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 took everyone by surprise.
It also showed other leaders their desire to continue interfering in world affairs.
This week, when the queen invited Biden and the first lady for tea at Windsor Castle, she asked about two authoritarian leaders: President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.
“I loved his curiosity,” Jill Biden said of her alone time with the Queen.
“I loved her sense of curiosity,” Jill Biden said regarding their time alone 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 last week and talked on the phone. Before becoming king, Charles was the Prince of Wales and a staunch 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.”
Funeral and security
When Biden and other world leaders arrived to commemorate the late queen, security in the British capital rose to an all-time high.
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, her funeral was being prepared, giving the American advisers an idea of what would happen in the next few days for security arrangements.
The White House said it had only received an invitation for the president and first lady.