Queen Elizabeth met every US president since Truman – except one: See her visits with US leaders
Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, a major world figure through wars, significant social change, global health crises and more. She met every president of the United States starting with Harry Truman – except for Lyndon B. Johnson. She also met Herbert Hoover, though it was decades after he left office.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden released a statement Thursday saying the queen was “more than a monarch. She defined an era.”
“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special,” the Bidens said in the statement. They recalled they first met Elizabeth in 1982 when they traveled to the United Kingdom as part of a Senate delegation.
“We were honored that she extended her hospitality to us in June 2021 during our first overseas trip as President and First Lady, where she charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom,” the Bidens said.
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Here’s a look at Elizabeth’s meetings and time spent with decades of American presidents.
The queen, then Princess Elizabeth, met with Truman in 1951 during her first visit to Washington. She would become queen the following year.
The queen greeted Dwight Eisenhower and first lady Mamie Eisenhower at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1957.
In 1961, John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy visited Buckingham Palace and dined with the queen.
Queen Elizabeth did not meet with Lyndon Johnson while he was in office, according to Johnson's presidential library. However, the queen and Prince Philip visited Johnson's presidential library and museum in 1991.
Richard Nixon first met the queen in 1957, while he was vice president. Nixon also traveled to the United Kingdom as president and was hosted by the queen.
Gerald Ford and the queen danced during a state dinner in honor of her and Philip in 1976 at the White House.
Jimmy Carter dined at Buckingham Palace at a gathering of NATO leaders in 1977.
Ronald Reagan and the queen bonded over a love of horseback riding. When Reagan visited Windsor Castle in 1982, they rode together on a tour of the castle's grounds.
George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush met with the queen in 1989, before the queen visited Washington in 1991.
Former President Bill Clinton said in a statement Thursday that he and Hillary Clinton "will always be grateful for the kindness she showed us through the years, particularly during our visits to Buckingham Palace in 1995 and 2000, and for all she did to deepen the Special Relationship."
Former President George W. Bush said he and Laura Bush "were honored to have known Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a woman of great intellect, charm, and wit."
"Spending time at Buckingham Palace, and having tea with Her Majesty – and her Corgis – is among our fondest memories of the presidency."
Former President Barack Obama and the queen met in April 2009 at a reception for leaders attending the Group of 20 nations summit in London. The queen would later invite Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama for a state visit in 2011.
The Obamas said in a statement Thursday: "Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance."
Former President Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth met in July 2018 at Windsor Castle. Trump said in a statement Thursday that "Queen Elizabeth’s historic and remarkable reign left a tremendous legacy of peace and prosperity for Great Britain."
As Biden noted in his statement, he met Queen Elizabeth as president in June 2021 during his first overseas trip in office.
“She helped Americans commemorate both the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown and the bicentennial of our independence,” the Bidens said after her death. “And she stood in solidarity with the United States during our darkest days after 9/11, when she poignantly reminded us that ‘Grief is the price we pay for love.’”
Contributing: David Jackson and Mike Snider, USA TODAY; Associated Press