Day 3 of the 2021 G7 Summit

By Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes, Laura Smith-Spark and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 3:35 PM ET, Mon June 14, 2021
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11:50 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

President Biden is meeting with the Queen soon at Windsor Castle. Here's what to expect.

From CNN's Kevin Liptak, Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Queen Elizabeth II watches a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in England on June 12.
Queen Elizabeth II watches a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in England on June 12. Chris Jackson/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will welcome US President Joe Biden and the first lady Jill Biden soon at Windsor Castle, her home outside London.

Biden becomes the 12th sitting president to meet the Queen during her reign, joining a legacy of American leaders paying their respects to a global icon and living piece of history.

It's her first one-on-one engagement with a world leader since the coronavirus pandemic began. And it's among her first public engagements since her husband, Prince Philip, died at 99 earlier this year.

Biden and the first lady have a formal audience scheduled with her at Windsor Castle.

To welcome the 46th President, Elizabeth is treating him to an honor guard formed of the Grenadier Guards in the castle's famous quad, Buckingham Palace has announced. The guards — one of the British Army's longest-serving units — will give a Royal Salute, and the US National Anthem will be played.

The President will then inspect the troops before rejoining the Queen and first lady to watch the military march-past. Afterward, the group will head into the castle for tea.

The Queen has hosted four other presidents at Windsor: Trump in 2018; Obama in 2016; George W. Bush in 2008; and Reagan back in 1982.

Earlier this week: Ahead of the weekend's big meeting, the royals undertook something of a charm offensive at the G7 in Cornwall. The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, as well as William and Catherine, descended upon the summit for a reception at the world-famous Eden Project, a striking collection of biomes, one of which is home to the largest indoor rainforest on Earth.

The Duchess of Cambridge met the first lady on Friday. The duchess has long championed early childhood education. The pair participated in a roundtable discussion on the subject and toured a school in Cornwall.

Read more about today's meeting with the Queen here.

12:00 p.m. ET, June 13, 2021

The rules Biden should follow when he meets the Queen 

Analysis from CNN's Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II mingles with US President Joe Biden and US first lady Jill Biden during a reception at The Eden Project in south west England on June 11.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II mingles with US President Joe Biden and US first lady Jill Biden during a reception at The Eden Project in south west England on June 11. Jack Hill/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

A meeting with the monarch can be intimidating ... even if you are a world leader. The Queen has met nearly every US President to take office during her lengthy reign.

No doubt keen to make a good impression on his first trip abroad, US President Joe Biden will probably want to follow the established conventions for his one-on-one with the 95-year-old monarch. Here's a quick rundown of the royal rules of engagement.

What you should do

  • There is no obligatory code of conduct to abide by when greeting royals, according to the family's website. However, it does acknowledge that some may choose to observe "traditional forms."
  • Basically, that means the Queen doesn't expect people to bow to her, though many do so anyway. For men, that could be a gentle dip of the head, while women can opt for a small curtsy. You could also add a handshake (if she offers first!) but, either way, the secret is not to overdo it.
  • When meeting the Queen, tradition dictates that she speaks first. In response, the correct form is to first address her as "Your Majesty" before swapping to "Ma'am." And in case you were wondering, there is a preference in pronunciation here -- it should be "Ma'am" to rhyme with "jam." Whatever you do, don't use her first name.
  • Although royal protocols have relaxed in more recent years, a top tip is to take your cue from the Queen. If she walks, you follow; if she sits, you can too; and if dinner's involved, best wait for her to start before tucking in. We all remember Donald Trump's gaffe when he blocked the Queen and then walked ahead of her during his visit to Windsor.

What you should avoid

  • Don't be late. According to Debrett's, the leading authority on British etiquette, "It is correct for everyone to arrive before the royal personage and protocol rules that no guest should leave an event before a member of the Royal Family, except in special circumstances when prior permission should be obtained." If you do need to duck out, make sure to seek permission through a private secretary first.
  • It may seem obvious but don't touch the Queen without her consent. She initiates any contact -- and that's a handshake at most. In 2017, the then-Canadian Governor General David Johnston made headlines when he placed his hand on the Queen's elbow during a visit to Canada House in London. Johnston later said he was simply "anxious" about slippery carpet and chose to forgo convention "to be sure that there was no stumble."
  • And probably best to avoid going in for a hug. It was quite a frenzy in 2009 when then-first lady Michelle Obama instinctively embraced the Queen (who sort of reciprocated). The British media had a field day, with conflicting observations about the moment. That said, Obama recalled a subsequent visit to Windsor Castle in 2016, when she was fretting over royal protocol but the monarch shrugged it off, declaring it "all rubbish."

Read more here.

12:02 p.m. ET, June 13, 2021

South Africa's Ramaphosa says African Union should have been invited to G7

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at Cornwall Airport Newquay in England on June 11 for the G7 summit.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at Cornwall Airport Newquay in England on June 11 for the G7 summit. Peter Nicholls/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa used his speech wrapping the end of the G7 summit to say the African Union should have been invited to the gathering.

“Together, collectively, I think we touched on important issues that affect not only the people of South Africa but the people of our continent Africa. We were, unfortunately, the only country from the African continent. We would have preferred that the African Union should have been invited, but be that as it may, we were here," he said.

South Africa was one of several nations invited to the three-day summit in Cornwall, England. During a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the UK reaffirmed its commitment to increase global vaccine access.The two leaders also agreed to work together to “strengthen” the relationship between the UK and South Africa through enhancing trade partnership and investment links.

The G7 is short for the Group of Seven, an organization of leaders from some of the world's largest economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

11:25 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

Biden says NATO isn’t a "protection racket"

From CNN's From Kevin Liptak

President Biden says he doesn’t view NATO as a “protection racket,” seeking to draw a sharp line between his views of the defense alliance and his predecessor’s.

“We believe that NATO is vital to our ability to maintain American security for the next, remainder of the century,” Biden said at a press conference in England at the culmination of the G7 summit. He will travel to Brussels later Sunday for a NATO summit.

Biden said he would reiterate American commitment to Article 5 collective defense.

“I want them to know, whether they doubted, that we believe NATO in Section Five is a sacred obligation,” he said.

Former US President Trump was frequently critical of NATO, saying countries weren’t paying enough for American protection.

11:22 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

France’s Macron praises return to “familiar language” with Biden at G7

From CNN’s Martin Goillandeau and Lindsay Isaac 

French President Emmanuel Macron said the first G7 Summit under President Biden’s Presidency was a return to a “familiar language.”

“For four years we have, not only us Europeans, but also with our Canadian and Japanese partners in the G7, done everything possible to ensure that the world order in which we believe can continue to function,” Macron said in a closing news conference on Sunday. 

Referring to the previous tense summits involving former US President Donald Trump, Macron told reporters the G7 format’s “effectiveness had been questioned.” 

He warned that the model of international liberal democracy is at risk but that the summit has “shown that we have rediscovered a language that is more familiar to us, where developed economies, whatever their disagreements on regional issues, on bilateral relations, on issues that sometimes give rise to different interpretations, nevertheless share the essential and have the will to coordinate to defend their values, the reform of their systems and their ability to act together in the face of the great contemporary challenges.”

France also pledged to double its commitments from 30 to 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine for developing countries by the end of the year. “In a very concrete way, the African Union will receive 5 million doses by the end of the summer.”

11:18 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

Biden says it's important to know whether Covid-19 came from "experiment gone awry"

From CNN's Allie Malloy

US President Joe Biden said he was “satisfied” with the agreed G7 communique’s points on China, and once again called for the country to be transparent on Covid-19, telling reporters it’s important to know whether the virus came from animal or “whether it was an experiment gone awry.”

Asked whether he was disappointed the communique didn’t go as far on China as the US may have liked, Biden noted the G7 explicitly agreed to call out human rights issues, non-market issues and forced labor.

“I think there’s plenty of action on China and there’s always something,” Biden said when asked about the G7’s statement, adding: “I’m satisfied.”

Biden also told reporters it’s important for China to be more transparent so the world knows where the virus came from, including if it was “an experiment gone awry in a laboratory.”

“We haven’t had access to the laboratories to determine whether or not — I have not reached a conclusion, because our intelligence community is not certain yet — whether or not this was a consequence from the marketplace of a bat interfacing with animals in the environment that caused this Covid-19 or whether it was an experiment gone awry in a laboratory," he said.

Biden added, “It’s important to know the answer to that because we have to access, we have to build the system whereby we can know what, when we see another lack of transparency that may produce another pandemic. We have to have access. The world has to have access.”

Some more context: World leaders attending the Group of Seven summit on Sunday issued a call for a new study into the origins of Covid-19, including in China, after an initial report was deemed lacking because Beijing had refused to cooperate.

They agreed to speak out against human rights abuses in China, a matter that had been hotly debated behind closed doors over the course of the three-day summit.

The leaders, in the G7 summit communiqué, also singled out Russia as harboring networks that have conducted ransomware attacks wreaking havoc on critical systems, saying countries must do more to address criminal activity within their borders.

You can read the full communiqué here.

10:46 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

Biden departs Newquay airport. His next stop will be to meet the Queen.

President Joe Biden just departed from Newquay airport in Cornwall en route to Windsor Castle where he will meet with Queen Elizabeth.

The monarch's meeting with Biden and first lady Jill Biden comes during the President's visit to the United Kingdom for the G7 summit, his first trip abroad since taking office.

It will also be the Queen's first major meeting with a world leader since the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in April, and comes after a year in which most of her in-person engagements were shelved because of the coronavirus pandemic.

11:03 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

Biden says he needs more time regarding steel and aluminum tariffs

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Biden suggested Sunday morning that he needs more time regarding ongoing Trump-era steel and aluminum tariffs. 

Pressed by a reporter on how European allies are concerned about the sanctions and his justification for keeping them in place, Biden said, “120 days. Give me a break. I need time,” referring to his first few months in office.

It was the last question Biden took before ending his news conference, leaving the room after. All told, the news conference lasted about 30 minutes.

 

10:52 a.m. ET, June 13, 2021

Biden says there's no "guarantee" to changing Putin's behavior

From CNN's Allie Malloy

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an event via video at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 9.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an event via video at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 9. Sergei Ilyin/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden said there’s no ”guarantee” to change a leader like Russian President Vladimir Putin’s behavior, but acknowledged that Russia has its own issues the US can use to negotiate.

“There’s no guarantee you can change a person’s behavior,” Biden said when asked what he will do differently in his meeting with Putin.

“Autocrats have enormous power and they don’t have to answer to a public. The fact is that it very well may be that if I respond in kind which I will, that it doesn’t dissuade him - he wants to keep going,” Biden told the traveling press in Cornwall. 

Biden added though, that Russia has “its own dilemmas” pointing to their economy, Covid-19, and Syria and Libya. 

Asked why he believes Putin hasn’t changed his behavior in response to all of the actions the US has taken to this point, Biden simply answered with a laugh: “He’s Vladimir Putin.” 

“I’m not gonna get into much more than that because I’ve got to sit down with him but I’ll be happy to talk after that,” Biden said. 

Pressed on where he can negotiate, Biden told reporters: “I think I’m going to try very hard — there’s places where, I shouldn’t be starting off negotiating in public — let me say it this way: Russia has engaged in activities which we believe are contrary to international norms but they have also bitten off some real problems they’re going to have trouble chewing on.” 

Biden also said he was encouraged by Putin’s comments this morning that Russia is prepared to extradite cyber criminals to the US on a reciprocal basis, if the United States does the same.