Royal expert claims Biden broke etiquette rules by wearing sunglasses to meet the Queen
June 14, 2021·2 min read
Queen Elizabeth II stands with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden during their visit to Windsor Castle on 13 June 2021 in Windsor, England (Getty Images)
President Joe Biden
’s decision to leave his sunglasses on during his meeting with the Queen on Sunday was a “breach of protocol”, according to a former member of palace staff.
Mr Biden visited Windsor Castle with the first lady, Jill Biden
, as part of his trip to the UK for the G7 summit, and was hosted by the Queen at her residence near London.
While there was no major faux pas during his meeting with the Queen
, the president’s decision to wear his trademark Aviators to greet the monarch was not received well by royal experts.
Grant Harrold, a former butler to Prince Charles
and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, told Newsweek that though President Biden was entitled to wear his sunglasses on a sunny June day, “he should have removed them” for the introduction itself.
“If you’re meeting the Queen face-to-face, there’s no sunglasses or anything like that at all because eye contact is quite important with any introduction,” Mr Harrold said.
“It’s fine for Biden to have had sunglasses on but he should have removed them when he actually met the Queen,” he continued.
“Everyone else has to, it doesn’t matter who you are, even royals remove sunglasses when they meet royals. It’s one of those rules I always write about in my etiquette texts. It is a breach of protocol. I get the sun might have been shining in his eyes but the Queen didn’t have sunglasses on. Jill, the first lady, didn’t have sunglasses on,” he said.
Mr Biden is now the 12th sitting president to have met the Queen during her nearly 70-year reign. Though it is standard practice for world leaders not to disclose what they discuss with the monarch, the president later told the media
that she asked him about Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.
He also said that the Queen, who at 95 is 17 years older than the president, reminded him of his mother.
“I don’t think she’d be insulted but she reminded me of my mother, the look of her and just the generosity,” he said.