President Joe Biden apparently breached royal protocol by blabbing some details of a personal conversation he had with the Queen at the G7.
“We had a great talk. She wanted to know what the two leaders that I… the one I’m about to meet with, Mr [Vladimir] Putin, and she wanted to know about Xi Jinping, and we had a long talk, and she was very generous,” the American disclosed to reporters before departing the United Kingdom at London’s Heathrow Airport.
It is generally understood that private conversations with the Queen, particularly when they touch upon political matters, should not be divulged, given her role as a head of state above partisan politics for a number of countries — three of which were represented at the G7, namely Britain, Australia, and Canada — and something of a confidant for world leaders more broadly.
Any public allusions to the Queen’s personal concerns are viewed as a threat to that role, undermining her status as a unifying figure for all political factions and none in the Commonwealth realms, in particular, and generally deleterious to the mystique which lends a constitutional monarchy much of its gravitas.
The 78-year-old Democrat also breached protocol by meeting the Queen while wearing the Aviator sunglasses which he has tried to cultivate as something of a personal trademark over the years.
“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,” a former royal butler explained to Newsweek.
“[H]e should have removed them when he actually met the Queen. Everyone else has to, it doesn’t matter who you are, even royals remove sunglasses when they meet royals,” he explained.
“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.”
Boris Compares Himself and Biden to Churchill and Roosevelt https://t.co/u2Dh9rhYLh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 11, 2021
Biden is not alone among world leaders in having broken royal protocol, however — even within the United Kingdom itself.
Perhaps most infamously, former Labour prime minister and Iraq War architect Tony Blair has long been rumoured to have earned the lasting ire of the monarch for being seen to make political capital from the death of Princess Diana — whom he dubbed “the People’s Princess” — at the Royal Family’s expense, and for, as Blair put it, having “talked perhaps less sensitively than I should have about the need to learn lessons” from Diana’s death.
Blair also breached protocol by blabbing about the royals’ private life at their Scottish estate in Balmoral in his memoirs, describing weekends he spent there as “a vivid combination of the intriguing, the surreal and the utterly freaky” and going into unnecessary detail about the way the Queen handled plates and did the washing up at barbeques presided over by her now-deceased husband.
The former premier has, notably, never been knighted or offered any other high honours in the long years since he left office, unlike all of his predecessors, living and departed.
Mr Blair, who wrought havoc on the British constitution during his decade in office, has also indicated that the Queen rather cut him down to size in her first meeting with him as Prime Minister, telling him, as Blair recalls it, that “You are my tenth prime minister. The first was Winston [Churchill]. That was before you were born.”
“So I got a sense of my, er, my relative seniority, or lack of it,” he added ruefully.
When they're posing for one of their staged photographs the G7 elite all pretend, for propaganda purposes, that they are Covid regulation compliant. But look at what they got up to later… https://t.co/086ApEYCWJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 12, 2021