The Queen’s encounters with American presidents during her reign

·4-min read

There have been 14 American presidents in power during the Queen’s reign so far.

Following Joe Biden’s visit to Windsor Castle later this month, the monarch will have met all except one.

Lyndon B Johnson, who took over in 1963 following John F Kennedy’s assassination, never crossed paths with the Queen.

Elizabeth II has played a pivotal role over the decades in the UK’s relationship with the leaders of one of its closest allies.

– Harry S Truman

In 1951, a young Princess Elizabeth – unknowingly three months away from becoming queen – travelled to Washington and saw President Harry S Truman, who was still in the Oval Office when she acceded to the throne.

Princess Elizabeth and Harry Truman
President Truman welcoming Princess Elizabeth to Washington DC (PA)

– Dwight D Eisenhower

During her first state visit to America in 1957, now the Queen, she met Dwight D Eisenhower, and the two heads of state met again two years later in Canada.

The Queen and Eisenhower
The Queen and Dwight D Eisenhower in Quebec (PA)

The Queen was said to have had an affectionate relationship with Mr Eisenhower, who was even invited to stay at the Queen’s Scottish hideaway Balmoral Castle.

– John F Kennedy

The glamorous president and his wife Jackie dined with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in June 1961.

JFK and the Queen
JFK and his wife Jacqueline meeting the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (PA)

– Lyndon B Johnson

Mr Johnson took over after Mr Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

He was president until 1969, but the Queen never met him, and he died in 1973.

– Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon dined with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in February 1969.

The Queen also met him at Chequers in October 1970 and was photographed with him outside the prime minister’s official country residence.

The Queen and Richard Nixon
The Queen with prime minister Edward Heath and Richard Nixon and his wife Pat at Chequers (PA)

– Gerald Ford

In 1976, during the US bicentennial, the Queen met Gerald Ford in the US.

The Queen with Gerald Ford
The Queen replies to Gerald Ford’s welcoming speech in Washington DC (PA)

– Jimmy Carter

In 1977, the monarch was pictured in a billowing, wide-sleeved yellow gown alongside Jimmy Carter, in a black tie and tuxedo, when he came to London.

Politics – President Jimmy Carter Visit to Britain – Buckingham Palace
The Queen with Jimmy Carter at a dinner at Buckingham Palace (PA)

– Ronald Reagan

Ronald and Nancy Reagan stayed at the Queen’s favourite home Windsor Castle in 1982 and the two heads of state were famously pictured riding side by side in Windsor Great Park.

Queen and Reagan
Ronald Reagan goes riding in Windsor Home Park with the Queen (PA)

She also met Mr Reagan during an official visit to America’s West Coast in 1983.

– George Bush Snr

George Bush Snr had lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1989.

Queen and George Bush
George Bush with the Queen in the Picture Room at Buckingham Palace (PA)

She also visited him in the US in 1991 – the trip that led to “Podiumgate” – when all that could be seen of the Queen above the lectern – when she was delivering an address on the White House lawn – was her hat.

– Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary met the Queen several times, including in December 2000 when, along with daughter Chelsea, they dropped in on the palace.

The Queen and Bill Clinton
Bill and Hillary Clinton with the Queen at Buckingham Palace (PA)

– George W Bush

George W Bush met the Queen a number of times during his period in office, first travelling to the palace in July 2001 and two years paying an official state visit to the UK – the first by a US leader.

When he welcomed her to the White House during a 2007 visit, the president winked at the Queen after making a gaffe – ageing her by 200 years after mixing up his dates in a speech.

George Bush winks at the Queen
George Bush winks at the Queen (Fiona Hanson/PA)

– Barack Obama

The Queen’s relationship with Barack and Michelle Obama was a warm and friendly one that even saw the monarch and the first lady put their arms around each other like old friends after a reception ahead of the G20 summit in 2009.

The Obamas and the Queen
Barack Obama and his wife Michelle with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in 2009 (John Stillwell/PA)

A successful state visit to the UK followed in 2011 and the Obamas forged a strong bond with the Queen and her wider family – particularly the Duke of Sussex, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

– Donald Trump

Donald Trump and his wife Melania were hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle during a 2018 visit to the UK, and before meeting the monarch he described her as “a tremendous woman”.

He returned for a state visit the following year and was joined by members of his family, and during the three-day visit senior royals also met the US leader.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (Matt Cardy/PA)

– Joe Biden

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are due to meet the Queen at Windsor Castle on Sunday June 13.

DC: Inauguration of Joe Biden as 46th President of the United States
Joe Biden (Niall Carson/PA)

The US leader is likely to meet the monarch at the conclusion of G7 talks being staged in Cornwall next week.

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