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President Proud of Working-Class Roots Has Tea With Queen

Shadows of Brexit and Northern Ireland hover over polite chat
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2021 12:30 PM CDT
Updated Jun 13, 2021 12:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Biden, the pride of an Irish American working-class family from a Pennsylvania coal town, was invited for tea at Windsor Castle on Sunday. He followed the advice his mother gave him before he first met Queen Elizabeth in 1982, CNN reports. "Don't you bow down to her," Biden was told, according to a memoir. He and his wife, Jill Biden, climbed out of a dark Range Rover in the interior quad of Windsor Castle as they arrived on Sunday. Biden wore his usual aviator sunglasses as he spoke with the British monarch but took them off when it was time to inspect the Grenadier Guardsmen. Reporters were not allowed in the castle for the talks, though they heard the queen and the president engaged in polite conversation as they walked into Windsor. But there was no bow.

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"It's a mighty long ride from being Scranton Joe the Amtrak commuter to dining … with Queen Elizabeth, but they'll get along fabulously," historian Douglas Brinkley said, per Politico. "The wonderful thing about Biden is that he is comfortable with himself in any setting." After an hour in the castle, the Bidens left by helicopter for London, the AP reports. British news media reports have centered not on Biden's economic heritage but his Irish roots and Roman Catholicism: Brexit puts the peace process in Northern Ireland at risk. "This is more a foreign policy moment than a class moment," a Biden aide said earlier. The long-reigning queen, 95, and the Bidens also chatted Friday at a G7 event in Cornwall as the president's foreign trip began. "It's a beautiful beginning," Jill Biden said. (Read more President Biden stories.)

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