President Joe Biden and King Charles III had their first meeting since the British monarch ascended to the throne. Biden visited Windsor Castle to engage in the ceremonial aspects of the royal encounter.
Biden arrived at the castle and inspected an honor guard composed of the Prince of Wales Company of the Welsh Guards. They were positioned on the grassy quadrangle, accompanied by a military band. The band played “God Save the King” as the monarch arrived and “The Star-Spangled Banner” upon Biden’s entrance.
This meeting marked Biden’s second visit to Windsor Castle since assuming office. He previously met Queen Elizabeth II, the King’s mother, at her residence outside London in June 2021. During that visit, the Queen expressed interest in Biden’s upcoming meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Biden remarked that he wished he had more time to converse with the Queen, praising her generosity.
This meeting between Biden and King Charles garnered significant attention due to the King’s role in advocating for climate change, a cause he is passionate about. Biden has labeled climate change as an existential threat, and the three of them, along with special envoy for climate John Kerry, engaged with private sector leaders in a climate event. They discussed barriers to private investment and recognized King Charles’ influence in convening discussions on this critical issue.
Kerry mentioned that the attendees agreed on the need to expedite capital deployment and investment in the new energy economy. Biden showed particular interest in discussing how the insurance industry could provide coverage for certain types of investments. They also explored ways to mitigate investment risks through collaboration between multilateral development banks and corporations.
Kerry refrained from commenting on the King’s direct involvement in policy matters during their meeting but described it as a briefing for the monarch. Kerry acknowledged the King’s extraordinary ability to convene influential figures due to his lifelong dedication to the issue of climate change.
In accordance with U.S. tradition, Biden did not attend the coronation in London. However, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and granddaughter Finnegan Biden were present at the ceremony. The President and First Lady did travel across the Atlantic for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II last year.
Earlier in the day, Biden commenced his trip abroad with a visit to London, aiming to strengthen the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K. before an important NATO summit. Biden met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street, discussing various topics, including Ukraine, where the two leaders have closely coordinated their actions. They reflected on their previous meetings around the world and emphasized the rock-solid relationship between their countries.
The meeting took place after the U.S. announced the decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, a topic on which the U.S. and the U.K. publicly differ due to the UK’s adherence to a convention prohibiting the use of cluster munitions. Nonetheless, Sunak expressed support for Ukraine against Russia’s aggression and highlighted the need for continued assistance from all countries.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reassured that the decision to send cluster munitions would not lead to fractures within allied countries, as the U.S. and the UK share a strategic alignment on Ukraine and broader goals. The decision was made following consultations with Congress, allies, and partners.
Following the meeting, the White House stated that Biden and Sunak reviewed preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit, reiterated their support for Ukraine, discussed the economic partnership, and talked about developments in Northern Ireland.
Later in the day, Biden departs for Vilnius, Lithuania, where NATO leaders will convene amid the conflict in Ukraine and the recent coup attempt in Russia. After the NATO Summit, the President will travel to Helsinki, Finland, for a summit with the leaders of Nordic countries, demonstrating support for these nations.