While Democrats frequently assumed that President Trump would botch his meetings with Queen Elizabeth II, President Biden appears to have already made several mistakes on his first foreign visit as President. Biden broke royal protocol first by showing up late to a dinner with the Queen at the G7 summit in Cornwall. Later, Biden again forgot or ignored royal protocol when he left his sunglasses on during his individual meeting with the Queen.
Biden shows up late
While being late or preventing eye contact by leaving sunglasses on while meeting someone is generally not considered to be very polite, the mistakes become much more important when a foreign head of state is involved.
Queen Elizabeth II has now met 13 sitting Presidents of the United States, starting with Dwight Eisenhower. After Eisenhower every President with the exception of Lyndon Johnson has met with the Queen.
A visit to America’s closest ally is generally a priority for any new President. With the G7 summit set in Cornwall this year Biden had the opportunity to make it his first foreign trip as President.
Biden showed up five minutes late to his first meeting with the Queen, who royal protocol dictates should never be kept waiting for her guests.
While the sunglasses may have been an innocent mistake by Biden, the late arrival borders on intentional disrespect from the President and his people.
At best the incident displays an in incredible ignorance of protocol and indicates that no one in the Biden Administration cared enough to study what was expected of the President.
Bad manners abroad
Keeping the host waiting is bad manners in any situation. When that host is an important foreign head of state those bad manners become especially problematic.
By leaving the Queen and other important foreign leaders to wait for his arrival Biden indicates, intentionally or not, that he considers himself to be more important than his counterparts.
Perhaps the delay was due to some last second coaching from staff members, who appear to be extremely anxious about letting Biden speak to anyone.
The Queen herself is far too experienced and well-mannered to show any displeasure at Biden and his protocol breaches. The Queen chatted politely and joked with the crowd of leaders in spite of the delay.
For a trip which leftist media has lauded as an opportunity for Biden to show strength and intimidate Russian leader Vladimir Putin, these mistakes become even more damaging for the President.
The shrewd and crafty Russian President is unlikely to feel too intimidated by or receptive to an American counterpart who neglects basic good manners and is not allowed to speak without prior approval from his staff.