Which US president did Queen Elizabeth like best? From Joe Biden and Donald Trump to JFK and Jackie Kennedy, who broke royal protocol and who upstaged her?

From Joe Biden to Donald Trump and Barack Obama, how different US presidents have greeted Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Reuters
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden met Queen Elizabeth on the first trip to the UK of Biden’s presidency, on the sidelines of the G7 summit, that finished on June 13 in Cornwall, England.
Along with other G7 leaders, the Bidens attended a reception and dinner with several members of the royal family including the queen, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Prince William and Princess Kate – at Eden Park on June 11.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth speaks to US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, at a reception for G7 leaders at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, on June 11, 2021. Photo: Pool via AP

Then the Bidens visited the queen again at Windsor Castle on June 13.

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US President Joe Biden with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as they met at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2021. Photo: Pool via Reuters

The queen, who ascended to the throne in 1952 and is currently the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has played a major role in easing the US and UK’s “special” diplomatic relationship.

She travelled to Washington DC for the first time to meet president Harry Truman in 1951 when she was still a princess. Since then she’s met a total of 13 US American presidents at places including Buckingham Palace, the White House and even a Baltimore Orioles game.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth smiles as she attends day three of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet, in Ascot, west of London, on June 20, 2019. Photo: AFP
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump last visited with the royals from June 3-5, 2019 on a special state visit to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

They attended several distinctly British meet-and-greet opportunities, including tea with heir Prince Charles, a banquet at Buckingham Palace, a tour of Westminster Abbey and a D-Day anniversary ceremony, most of which was alongside royalty.

Here’s what the queen’s relationships and meetings with US presidents have been like, from Harry Truman to Donald Trump.

Harry Truman

When Queen Elizabeth was still a princess in 1951, she travelled to Washington for her first meeting with president Harry Truman. The two complimented each other’s nations: “Free men everywhere look towards the United States with affection and with hope,” she told Truman.

President Harry S. Truman and Britain’s then-Princess Elizabeth are shown as their motorcade got under way following the reception ceremony at Washington National Airport in October 1951. Photo: @wfinalle57/Twitter

Dwight Eisenhower

The queen developed a close friendship with president Dwight Eisenhower, who hosted her for her first state visit to the US as queen. They corresponded by letter for years – with the queen even sharing her recipe for grilled scones with Eisenhower.

Queen Elizabeth and president Dwight Eisenhower. Photo: @CraigBaird/Twitter

John F. Kennedy

The queen reportedly felt upstaged and outshone by Jacqueline Kennedy when she and president Kennedy toured France and England in the summer of 1961. The queen hosted them at Buckingham Palace.

In this June 5, 1961, file photo, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth walks with American president John F. Kennedy, and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy, at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: AP Photo, file

Nevertheless, Queen Elizabeth and president Kennedy corresponded warmly until his death in 1963, after which the queen created a physical memorial and a scholarship fund in Kennedy’s honour.

Posing for photographers following dinner at Buckingham Palace are Prince Philip, Jacqueline Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth and president John F. Kennedy, on June 5, 1961. Photo: UPI

Richard Nixon

President Nixon met the queen multiple times in his position as first vice-president and then president – and reportedly tried to fix his daughter Tricia up with Prince Charles, the queen’s eldest son.

Veteran British broadcaster David Frost talks with former president Richard Nixon before the taping of their famous March 1977 interview. Photo: AP Photo

Gerald Ford

President Gerald Ford hosted Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip for a state dinner. “If I hadn’t kept mixing up ‘Your Highness’ and ‘Your Majesty’ [he’s His Highness, she’s Her Majesty] I’d give myself four stars for the way that visit went off.”

Gerald Ford and Queen Elizabeth in 1976. Photo: @suriyothais/Twitter

First lady Betty Ford wrote of the dinner in her memoirs. Outside the occasion’s formalities, the Fords had a humorous moment with the queen during the 1976 visit that involved their 24-year-old son, Jack.

A December 2006 photo of Betty Ford, leaving after members of the US Armed Forces removed the casket bearing the remains of former US president Gerald Ford from St Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California. Photo: AFP Photo/Files

Kate Andersen Brower, author of First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, told CNN that when the Fords brought the queen and Prince Philip to the residence before the visit’s dinner, they ran into Jack, who was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

The queen reassured the first lady about the run-in, saying: “Don’t worry, Betty, I have one of those at home, too.”

Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter committed an infamous faux-pas in kissing the queen mother on the lips during his visit to Buckingham Palace to attend a Nato event.

Queen Elizabeth with US president Jimmy Carter at a state dinner at Buckingham Palace in London, UK, in 1977. Photo: @LeszekCzernek7/Twitter

Ronald Reagan

Queen Elizabeth developed a close relationship with president Ronald Reagan, with whom she shared a love of horseback riding.

US president Ronald Reagan riding with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the grounds of Windsor Castle in June 1982. Photo: AP Photo

The queen was reportedly very friendly with both Nancy and Ronald Reagan, whose family ranch she visited in 1983.

Brower told CNN that the first lady wrote about the queen in her memoir and the two “had a good relationship”.

President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan with the Butler family, outside their home in College Park, Maryland in May 1982. Photo: AP Photo

Reagan wrote that the queen came to the ranch after she and her husband had mentioned it during a visit to Windsor Castle, and the queen wanted to ride horses.

Though the queen made it to the ranch, “the weather was awful, so instead the Reagans left the ranch to go on the royal yacht Britannia,” Brower told CNN.

Despite the change of plans, Reagan wrote: “I spent that evening with the queen, sitting on a sofa in the large living room, talking about our children like old friends.”

In 1989, the queen granted Reagan an honorary knighthood – the highest distinction the UK awards foreigners – in recognition of his help during the Falkland War.

President Ronald Reagan sits in the Oval Office after delivering his farewell address to the nation in the White House in Washington, in January 1989. Photo: AP Photo

George H.W. Bush

A lifelong baseball fan, George Bush took Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to a Baltimore Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics game in 1991 – the first time the queen had been to a baseball game.

After President Bush died in December 2018, the queen put out a statement that honoured him as “a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom” and a “patriot”. She also sent Prince Charles to represent the royal family at his funeral.

Bill Clinton

“Her Majesty impressed me as someone who but for the circumstance of her birth, might have become a successful politician or diplomat. As it was, she had to be both, without quite seeming to be either,” President Bill Clinton wrote of the queen in his memoir.

George W. Bush

President George Bush escorts Queen Elizabeth to Blair House following the White House Arrival Ceremony. Photo: George W. Bush Library

In 2007, Queen Elizabeth poked some lighthearted fun at George W. Bush over his mistakenly saying she had to come to celebrate America’s bicentennial in 1776 instead of 1976.

Barack Obama

In 2009, president Barack Obama gifted the queen an iPod with historical video footage of her previous visits to the US going back to the 1950s, as well as his 2009 inaugural address and 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, greet US president Barack Obama after he and his wife Michelle arrived by helicopter outside Windsor Castle in April 2016. Photo: AFP Photo

In her memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama described accidentally violating royal protocol by putting her arm around the queen as a show of affection and support, but says the queen didn’t seem offended and reciprocated the gesture.

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama visit Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip at Windsor Castle ahead of a private lunch hosted by the queen. Photo: AP

Donald Trump

President Trump was accused of several royal faux-pas during his summer 2018 visit to England – including being late to meet the queen at Windsor Castle, walking in front of her, shaking her hand instead of bowing, and turning his back to her.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth with US president Donald J. Trump inspecting the Guard of Honour during a welcome ceremony before their meeting at Windsor Castle on July 13, 2018. Photo: EPA-EFE/British Ministry of Defence

While the queen has been diplomatically mum on her opinions of Trump, he has praised her. “If you think of it, for so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake. You don’t see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman,” Trump said of the queen before their meeting.

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Trump embarked on his second chance to connect with the queen in June 2019, on a three-day state visit to the UK at Buckingham Palace. He joined her to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth stands with US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a welcome ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on June 3, 2019. Photo: AFP

Joe Biden

Now, President Biden and his wife Jill have met the queen. On June 11, the first lady and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited a school together in Cornwall.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth walks with US President Joe Biden during his visit to Windsor Castle, near London on June 13, 2021. Photo: Pool Photo via AP

The Duchess and the first lady paid a visit to the students at Connor Downs Academy and to one of the school’s rabbits, Storm.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider
  • The Bidens recently met members of the royal family including Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Cornwall
  • The queen felt upstaged by Jacqueline Kennedy but reciprocated Michelle Obama’s gesture after the first lady broke royal protocol by putting her arm around her