No head of state in the world has met as many American presidents as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth (95). Of the last 14 White House residents, not one has been infected. This weekend came Joe Biden.
The fact that Queen Elizabeth has known many presidents due to her exceptionally long reign. At the age of 95, she has been on the throne for nearly seventy years.
The first president she met was Harry S. Truman in 1951. Elizabeth was 25 years old and still a princess while she and her family lived with the Truman family at Blair House in Washington, DC. This is where the president stayed during the renovation of the White House.
A year later, Elizabeth succeeded her father. The first American leader she met as head of state was Dwight Eisenhower, Truman’s successor. In total, the Queen has met 13 US presidents.
The only US president missing from its list is Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded the assassinated John F. Kennedy in 1963 and was subsequently elected to one term. It is not clear why he did not visit London.
JFK is greeted at Buckingham Palace in 1961. Visit of President Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, yields the most exciting episode of the Netflix series the crown. According to biographers, the queen was envious of Jackie’s charm, but it is difficult to ascertain how this corresponded to reality.
Given the “special relationship” with the United States, particularly by the British, it was emphasized during each period that the King would receive or visit the new president in Washington. Donald Trump received his invitation to a state visit in 2017 just a week after his inauguration through then-Prime Minister Theresa May. This led to a lot of protests and delays, despite Trump’s visit to Windsor Castle in the end.
This visit by Trump is etched in the memory of many Britons. When Trump and Queen Elizabeth went to inspect the military honor guard, the Queen had to show him the way President Trump would walk in front of the Queen. This has become world news because it goes against protocol that the Queen will never follow another.
But also during Barack Obama’s visit, people erred against this outrageous protocol. At a state dinner in 2011, he toasted the Queen just as the United Kingdom’s national anthem was to be heard, by law, in full attentiveness. His wife, Michelle Obama, placed her hand on the queen’s shoulders during that visit, while touching the British head of state is prohibited.
The visit also featured in the history books was when Ronald and Nancy Reagan were invited to stay at Windsor Castle in 1982, the first presidential couple to receive the honor. Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth II went horseback riding together, while their husbands, Nancy and Prince Philip, rode a carriage.
A year later, the British royal couple visited Santa Barbara, California, and the Queen awarded him a knighthood, the highest rank of non-British people.