US President Joe Biden and First Lady at Westminster for the Queen’s lying in state

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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden (right) view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster (PA)
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden (right) view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster (PA)

US President Joe Biden said the “world is better” because of the Queen.

Speaking at Lancaster House, Mr Biden said: “To all the people of England, all the people of the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you.

“You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years, we all were.

“The world is better for her.”

Mr Biden said the Queen reminded him of his own mother.

Asked why he drew the comparison, he said: “She had that look like, ‘are you OK? Anything I can do for you? What do you need?’

“And also ‘make sure you do what you’re supposed to do’,” he joked, wagging his finger.

He added: “I have talked about how my mother and father thought that everyone, no matter who they were, no matter what their station, no matter where they are from, deserved to be treated with dignity.

“And that’s exactly what she communicated – just the way she walked by her staff, just the way she acted.

“I think what she gave was a sense of, above all, the notion of service – we all owe something.

“There is something in our capacity to do that can make not just the world better, but your neighbourhood better, your household better, your workplace better, and that’s what she communicated to me and it was an honour to meet her.”

He was was speaking after he and First Lady Jill Biden arrived at Westminster Hall to see the Queen lying in state.

The President waved to crowds as he was driven through central London.

Joe Biden arrives at Westminster (REUTERS)
Joe Biden arrives at Westminster (REUTERS)

A few cheers from the crowd could be heard as the motorcade glided into and out of the Palace of Westminster.

Security was tight and road crossings were closed ahead of his visit to pay his respects, as rumours spread through the crowd about the imminent arrival of Mr Biden and his entourage.

The couple had touched down at Stansted Airport just before 10pm on Saturday evening.

The president had been due to meet Prime Minister Liz Truss on Sunday, but the talks were cancelled on Saturday.

A “full bilateral meeting” was scheduled for Wednesday when the leaders are set to be in New York for the UN General Assembly.