First Lady Jill Biden is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and respect she witnesses for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to London with President Joe Biden, particularly the viewing of the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall , she told CNN on Sunday.
“It was really moving. We walked in there, Joe and I, by the casket, the mourners were filing past,” Biden told CNN in a phone interview. The first lady said she saw a young boy in a boy scout uniform walking past the coffin.
“He lifted his three fingers and he gave the Queen a final salute, and just seeing that gave me a lump in my throat,” she recalled.
Biden added that she could feel the deep emotional impact the Queen’s death had had on the people of the UK, noting that the “thousands and thousands” of people lining up to pay their respects was “an incredible sight” .
Biden noted that she, too, would have stood in line for 24 hours if that was what it took to pay tribute to someone she loved, as many of Elizabeth’s fans and admirers have done.
Biden also said the long-term planning for world leaders to attend that funeral paid off.
“Things are on time,” she said. “It’s a pretty impressive operation.”
Biden recounted his own personal interactions with the Queen over the years.
“She, of course, has been queen all my life,” Biden said. “I had met her after I married Joe. I was young, I was a young mother, it was when Joe was a senator, we passed [to the UK] meet the queen. She was very warm then.
Yet it was the Bidens’ private tea party with her last summer that left the deepest impression.
“I loved his sense of curiosity,” Biden said of the time they spent alone with the Queen. “She wanted to know everything about American politics, so she asked Joe question after question.”
The First Lady echoed similar sentiments about the reunion, as her husband did at the time, when he said the Queen reminded him in a way of his own mother.
“We sat there in her living room – it was really almost like being with your grandmother,” Jill Biden said, revealing how the Queen insisted on getting up to pour the Bidens’ tea.
Biden also shed light on the private reception hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening for the many dignitaries, royalty and world leaders in attendance.
Biden said King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, were there, as were the new Prince and Princess of Wales, but Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex were not. When asked if she had spoken with Harry since his grandmother’s death, Biden, who has known Harry and supported his charity Invictus Games for several years, told CNN: “No, I haven’t. not done.”
Biden said his conversations with King Charles and the royal family at the reception were strictly about the queen.
“We really talked about the woman, who she was and what she really meant to the whole world,” Biden said, adding that she noted to Charles the human toll of grief.
“He’s the king, but, you know, nobody should forget that he lost his mother, and Prince William lost a grandmother, and sometimes we tend to forget the really human part there, and the grief they have to endure – and how they have to cry in public. But… they seem to be fine.
As for his lasting impression of the queen, Biden said that in addition to “how warm and gracious she was to me and Joe,” it would be the impact she had on the whole world, which Biden said she was a first-hand witness.
“Now that I’ve met everyone at the reception, how many heads of state, kings and queens have come here to honor him and represent their country,” Biden said. “Just like Joe and I feel honored to represent the American people.”
. Jill Biden says what is overwhelmed by love respect queen Elizabeth London