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Joe Biden at Queen Elizabeth II: where the faux pas are


US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill have a special invitation for Sunday. You meet the queen. It is then critically observed how skillfully they circumvent the faux pas of the court protocol. An overview:

Enlarge image

The Bidens and the Queen at the G7 summit in Cornwall


ANDREW PARSONS / imago images / UPI Photo

His predecessor stepped into several faux pas and even made the Queen wait for him.

Now US President Joe Biden can show whether he has mastered court etiquette better: After the deliberations at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, Biden and First Lady Jill are invited to the British Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Sunday.

One thing is already certain: At the meeting, it will be observed very closely whether and which faux pas the Bidens are making.

The courtly protocol provides for a few clear rules:


As soon as the most powerful head of government in the world meets the Queen, it starts.

As a man, Biden has to bow to the Queen.

A deep servant does not have to be, a lowering of the head is enough.

From Jill Biden, however, a slight curtsey is expected.

Hello, Queen?

No matter how friendly that may be, a "So nice to meet you, Elizabeth" would be rude.

Visitors must first address the Queen with "Your Majesty".

After that, "Ma'am" is sufficient.


Shaking hands with the Queen as a greeting or even hugging her warmly would be a no-go.

It must not be touched.

The former first lady Michelle Obama made a mistake here in April 2009 because she put her hand on the shoulder of the much smaller queen.

Ladies first:

Striding forward and letting the Queen run after you, as former American President Donald Trumpf once did, is clearly against protocol.

Trump first.

It is correct: the queen goes first, the guest behind.

Trump, on the other hand, walked a few steps ahead of Elizabeth II when he walked through the guard of honor during his 2018 visit.

He hadn't bowed either.


up afterwards


If mere mortals are given the opportunity to meet the Queen in person, they should at least not brag about it later.

Perhaps this is behind the protocol rule of maintaining confidentiality after a meeting with the Queen.

Or simply no private details should come to light.

In any case: discretion please.

Either way, Trump didn't stick to that requirement.

In 2018, the then US president shared the content of his conversation with the monarch.

The subject of the conversation was therefore the difficult exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.

During his state visit to the UK in June 2019, he was a little more covered.

Trump and some of his children insisted on celebrating their invitation to the state banquet at the Queen in online networks with impressive photos.

focus / AFP

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-06-13

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