Informal Biden Gesture Sparks Media Frenzy

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King Charles and President Joe Biden held their first formal meeting at Windsor Castle on Monday, July 10, marking a shift towards a more casual approach to royal protocol.

A major topic of the meeting, held in the Green Drawing Room, was the Climate Finance Mobilization Forum. The leaders deliberated on strategies to motivate large-scale businesses and private finance sectors to actively address the mounting issue of climate change.

Biden was welcomed by King Charles with a handshake upon his arrival at Windsor Castle. The two leaders then ascended a platform to watch a band performance of both countries’ national anthems and review the Welsh Guards.

Notably, Biden placed his hand on King Charles’ back informally during their exchange, sparking speculation of a potential breach in royal protocol. However, a source from Buckingham Palace refuted these concerns, explaining that the King had no issues with the gesture. The source highlighted the positive and friendly rapport between the two, viewing it as a significant symbol of their individual and national relationships.

The source also cleared up misconceptions regarding the appropriateness of President Biden, 80, preceding King Charles, 74, during the Guard of Honour inspection.

The relationship between Biden and King Charles goes back to 2015, when they met in the Oval Office alongside then-President Barack Obama and Queen Camilla, at that time the Duchess of Cornwall. They also attended the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference together in 2021.

Biden’s UK visit, although more focused on work matters than usual presidential visits, had an air of simplicity without any official state visit or a grand palace banquet. Nevertheless, a state visit might be forthcoming, as Biden accepted the King’s invitation during a pre-coronation phone call in April.

Prior to meeting King Charles, Biden had a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. As per the White House announcement, after the UK visit, Biden is slated to attend the NATO Summit in Lithuania followed by a US-Nordic Leaders Summit in Finland.

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