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Queen Elizabeth II joins Biden, world leader as UK increases star power at G-7 summit

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LONDONR Queen Elizabeth II joined the Group of Seven summit in south-west England on Friday, adding a star power to a diplomatic offensive as Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the “unbreakable relationship” between Britain and the United States.

While there always had to be a royal presence at the G-7 summit in the small coastal town of Carbis Bay, the queen’s arrival came as a surprise.

She joined the leaders of the G-7 countries, the US, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy for dinner as they seek to overcome any tension that underestimates the event and present a united front in their effort. to renew the besieged West. .

Leaders are set to discuss plans to donate hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries, climate change and the imposition of a 15 percent global corporate minimum tax.

The White House has also made it clear that it sees the trip as a chance to rally allies around the issue of liberal democracy against what Biden sees as an authoritarian threat to Russia and China.

The official business of the summit started on Friday, with the official greeting and a group photo distanced from society.Ludovic Marin / AFP – Getty Images

The queen’s surprise attendance, 95, prompted her to team up with Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, to host leaders at the Eden Project, a tropical garden built under a wide pile of bio domes.

Charles, heir to the throne and a climate activist, will host a reception for prominent leaders and CEOs “to discuss how the private sector can work with governments to address the climate emergency,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

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The Duchess of Cambridge also met with Jill Biden on Friday for a trip to a local school.

Asked if she had any wishes for her new granddaughter Lilibet Diana, Kate said she wished her “all the best”.

“I can not wait to meet him,” she added. “We have not met him yet. I hope soon.”

Asked if she had been flirting with Harry and Meghan’s daughter since her birth last week, Kate said she had not done so.

The arrival of top-level kings represents the most powerful soft power weapon Britain has to offer, even if the royal brand has been gripped by the family crisis.

The country is awaiting this international spectacle at a time when it is trying to redefine its international role following a sharp departure from the European Union last year.

The Queen is the monarch with the longest reign in Britain and has met every sitting US president since Harry Truman, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson.

The first lady will also travel with the president to Windsor Castle to meet the queen on Sunday after the summit, as previously announced.

Biden will be the 13th American leader she has hailed, including decades of what has historically been called the “special relationship” between Washington and London.

This week it was revealed that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not like that phrase, with an aide reportedly saying he felt it seemed necessary.

Instead on Friday Johnson described the Anglo-American bond as an “indestructible relationship”.

“It is a relationship that has stood for a very long time and has been an important part of peace and prosperity both in Europe and around the world.” he told the BBC, also calling it a “deep and meaningful relationship”.

The president has repeatedly used the phrase “special relationship” despite his counterpart’s hatred for him.

“We affirmed the special relationship, which is not easily said the special relationship between our people,” he said Thursday after a meeting that both sides hailed as a success.

Johnson described working with Biden as “a great breath of fresh air”.

Last year, while campaigning against then-President Donald Trump, Biden called Johnson “Trump’s physical and emotional clone.”Toby Melville / AP

But the summit has been far from tense.

Before landing on British soil, the Biden administration issued a stern warning to Johnson not to allow Brexit to threaten peace in Northern Ireland.

Tensions have risen in the province because, in the eyes of some, Brexit has weakened its ties with the UK and risks pulling it closer to the orbit of the Republic of Ireland, a special country in the south.

This risks reviving decades of conflict between predominantly Catholic “nationalists” who want Northern Ireland to reunite with the Republic of Ireland and largely Protestant “unionists” who want the area to remain part of the UK

Biden, who has Irish heritage, has warned that the US does not want to see any threat to the Good Friday Agreement, a landmark 1998 US-brokered peace deal.

On Thursday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned Britain’s efforts to renegotiate aspects of Brexit covering Northern Ireland. The UK’s efforts to do so have become a major point of friction with the EU

“Nothing is negotiable,” Macron told a news conference.

Andrea Mitchell contributed.

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