Charles, 74, met with Biden, 80, on Monday, July 10, at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. The two men inspected an honor guard made up of the Prince of Wales Company of the Welsh Guards. A band honored Charles with a performance of “God Save the King” before playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a tribute to Biden.
After the formal arrivals, Biden and Charles participated in a roundtable discussion on climate change with John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, and officials from the financial industry and the philanthropic sector.
“The president has huge respect for the king’s commitment on the climate issue in particular,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Sunday, July 9. “He has been a clarion voice on this issue.”
Biden’s stop in the U.K. is one of many on his calendar. The international trip also includes visits to Vilnius, Lithuania, for the NATO Summit and Helsinki, Finland, for a summit with the Nordic leaders.
Buckingham Palace announced on July 2 that Biden would be meeting with Charles. At the time, the White House elaborated on the reason for the visit.
“President Biden will first travel to London, United Kingdom for engagements with King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to further strengthen the close relationship between our nations,” the statement read.
While Biden had met Sunak, 43, last month in Washington, D.C., this is the first time he’s come face to face with Charles since he was crowned. Both leaders are the oldest to step up to their respective leadership roles.
Before his sit-down with Charles, Biden was invited to Windsor Castle by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2021, six months after he was inaugurated. At the time, Biden was the 13th and final American president to meet the queen during her historic reign. (Elizabeth died at age 96 in September 2022.)
Biden visited the U.K. to attend the funeral of Charles’ mother in September 2022. While Charles immediately assumed the throne following the death of the late queen, he wasn’t officially crowned until May. Biden was invited to the coronation, but first lady Dr. Jill Biden attended the historic event in his place to represent the United States. Her granddaughter Finnegan Biden, 23, came along as her plus-one for the occasion.
“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with King Charles III, underscoring the strength of the relationship between our countries and the friendship between our peoples,” read a statement from the White House in April ahead of Charles’ coronation. “The President congratulated the King on his upcoming Coronation and informed him that First Lady Jill Biden looks forward to attending on behalf of the United States. The President also conveyed his desire to meet with the King in the United Kingdom at a future date.”