LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II travels to the summit of the group of seven in the south-west of England on Friday and adds some star power to a diplomatic charm offensive, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the “imperishable relationship” between Britain and the United States.
While it was always intended that there should be some royal presence at the G-7 summit in the small Cornish coastal town of Carbis Bay, the Queen’s arrival is a surprise.
She will join the leaders of the G-7 countries – the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy ̵
Leaders are ready to discuss plans to donate hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries, climate change and set a global minimum tax rate of 15 percent.
The White House has also made it clear that it sees the trip as an opportunity to rally allies around the cause of liberal democracy against what Biden sees as the authoritarian threat from Russia and China.
The Queen’s unexpected turnout, 95, means she will join Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, at the leaders’ reception at the Eden Project, a tropical garden built under a cluster of large bio-domes.
Charles, the heir to the throne and a climate activist, will host a reception for leaders and prominent executives “to discuss how the private sector can work with governments to tackle the climate,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
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The Duchess of Cambridge also met Jill Biden on Friday for a trip to a local school.
When asked if she had any wishes for her new niece Lilibet Diana, she said she wished her “all the best.”
“I can’t wait to meet her,” she added. “We have not met her yet. I hope it will be soon.”
Asked whether she had facetized with Harry and Meghan’s daughter since her birth last week, Kate said she had not.
The arrival of first-class royals represents the most potent soft weapon that Britain has to offer, even though the royal brand has been plagued by family crisis.
The country is hosting this international play at a time when it is trying to redefine its international role following a violent departure from the European Union last year.
The Queen is Britain’s longest-serving monarch and has met every incumbent US president since Harry Truman, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson.
The first lady also travels with the president to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen on Sunday after the summit, as previously announced.
Biden becomes the 13th American leader she is met with, spanning decades of what has historically been called the “special relationship” between Washington and London.
This week, it was revealed that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not like this phrase, with an aide allegedly saying he felt it sounded urgent.
Instead, Johnson on Friday described the Anglo-American bond as an “indestructible relationship.”
“It is a relationship that has been going on for a very long time and has been an important part of peace and prosperity both in Europe and around the world,” he told the BBC, calling it a “deep and meaningful relationship”. ”
The president has repeatedly used the phrase “special relationship” despite his counterpart’s aversion to it.
“We reaffirmed the special relationship – it is not easy to say – the special relationship between our people,” he said Thursday after a meeting that both sides hailed as a success.
Johnson described the work with Biden as “a great breath of fresh air.”
But the summit has been far from tense.
Before even landing on British soil, the Biden administration issued a stern warning to Johnson not to let Brexit threaten peace in Northern Ireland.
Tensions have risen in the province because Brexit has, in some eyes, weakened its ties with Britain and risked drawing it closer to the Republic of Ireland, a separate country to the south.
It risks resuming decades of conflict between mostly Catholic “nationalists” – who want Northern Ireland to be reunited with the Republic of Ireland – and mostly Protestant “unionists” – who want the area to remain part of Britain
Biden, who has Irish heritage, has warned that the US does not want to see any threat to the Good Friday Agreement, a milestone from 1998, partly mediated by the US
On Thursday night, French President Emmanuel Macron also chastised Britain’s attempts to renegotiate aspects of Brexit covering Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom’s attempt to do so has become a major friction point with the EU
“Nothing can be renegotiated,” Macron told a news conference.
Andrea Mitchell the contribution.