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Queen Elizabeth to meet Biden in person after G7

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 15, 2020 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II speaks with staff during a visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down science park near Salisbury, southern England. – Queen Elizabeth II is saddened by the challenges faced by her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, and takes their allegations of racism in the royal family seriously, Buckingham Palace said on March 9, 2021. “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the palace said in a statement released on the queen’s behalf. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP)

Queen Elizabeth II will hold her first in-person meeting with a foreign leader in over a year when she hosts US President Joe Biden on June 13 after he attends a G7 summit, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday.

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It said the 95-year-old monarch will meet the president and First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle west of London, where she has largely lived since the coronavirus pandemic first swept Britain in March 2020.

The Queen, who has received her two doses of Covid-19 vaccination, has been holding the vast majority of meetings virtually, including audiences with foreign ambassadors.

It will be her first meeting in person with a foreign head of state since the pandemic hit, and her most high-profile official engagement since presiding over the state opening of parliament on May 11.

That was the Queen’s first public appearance since the funeral of her husband Prince Philip. He died on April 9, aged 99.

In a statement of condolence then, the Bidens paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh. “His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped,” they wrote.

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The meeting with the president and first lady will come the day after the Queen’s official birthday, and will follow the three-day summit of Group of Seven leaders in Cornwall, southwest England.

The G7 gathering starts Biden’s first foreign tour since he took office in January. He will also make stops at a NATO summit in Brussels and in Geneva, for a June 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

With the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson, the Queen has met every US president during her 69-year reign. Donald Trump staged a controversial state visit to Britain in June 2019.

The official birthday celebration is normally marked by a military parade called “Trooping the Colour”, featuring hundreds of personnel from Britain’s most prestigious regiments.

But it has been cancelled for a second year, owing to the pandemic.

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