You’d think when given the opportunity to meet with royalty, one would make sure to be on their very best behavior. Additionally, it would be wise to know the protocols involved with such a meeting. For example, should you stand when they enter? What if you’re the one entering? How do you address them? Etc.
Well, apparently, when the United States Democratic President Joe Biden met with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom this past week, he was neither on his best behavior nor was he aware of pretty much any protocols that should’ve been involved.
In fact, the supposedly always calm, collected, and ever proper president broke royal protocol a grand total of three times in his short stay with the Queen.
So what did Biden do or didn’t do that he should have?
The first offense took Biden all of zero seconds to accomplish, as it happened at the very beginning of their meeting. Well, that’s not entirely true. Before he even met the royal, his first offense took place as he arrived later than her to a G-7 event.
Everyone knows that Her Majesty is the last to arrive, allowing her to make the entrance worthy of such royalty.
And yet, Biden was late, taking that entrance for himself. And not even fashionably so…
His next break in protocol came just as quickly and was just as equally in bad form.
He left his sunglasses on.
According to Grant Harrold, who formerly served as butler to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, “If you’re meeting the Queen face-to-face there’s no sunglasses or anything like that at all because eye contact is quite important with any introduction.”
In all honesty, it just makes good sense, right? I mean, it goes right along the same thought process as taking off your hat during dinner or when in church. It’s a sign of respect and integrity that you’re not hiding anything or behind anything.
As Harrold later remarked, even “royals remove sunglasses when they meet royals.” And especially in such a formal setting as meeting in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle.
Now, I know, there are more than a few of you who could care less that Biden did something so minor as to not remove his sunglasses in front of royalty. I mean, he is the President of the United States, after all. What are they going to do to him? Throw him in the stocks?
No, I think not. In fact, the Queen, as a gracious ruler and one quite used to introductions with people unfamiliar with royal protocols, likely shrugged off each offense without so much as batting an eye.
But there are consequences for Biden’s transgressions nonetheless, even if they aren’t from the Queen herself.
What these breaks in protocol show the world is that Biden is either incredibly forgetful or that he simply doesn’t care.
Suffice it to say that neither is a good look for someone who, as the Queen’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson referred to Biden, is supposed to be a “breath of fresh air” compared to former POTUS Donald Trump.
But that’s not even half of it.
You see, Biden’s third break in protocol came after the meeting by announcing to the press exactly what he and Her Majesty had discussed behind closed doors.
As he told The Daily Mail, Biden had a “great talk” with the Queen. “She wanted to know what the two leaders that I… the one I’m about to meet with, Mr. Putin, and she wanted to know about Xi Jinping, and we had a long talk, and she was very generous.”
So he just admitted to the world that he, as the leader of the United States and the Queen of England, just had a long discussion about two of the countries both of our nations have a long-standing tenuous relationship with.
Undoubtedly, this admission could put both Russia and China on edge and have some very major consequences, not only regarding a break in royal protocol but also national security.
Then again, as royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliam told the MailOnline, the admission could be a political move by both the US and the United Kingdom to show that they are still in alliance would be willing to take on either of the two nations mentioned.
If that’s the case, it’s likely the only show of strength Biden gave during his entire trip.