Jill Biden says she is overwhelmed with love and respect for Queen Elizabeth II in London


“It was really emotional. We went in there, Joe and I, by the casket, were mourning,” Biden told CNN in a phone interview. The first lady said she saw a young boy in a Boy Scout uniform walk past the casket.

“He put up three fingers and gave his last salute to the Queen, and it gave me a lump in my throat to see,” he recalled.

Biden added that he could feel the deep emotional impact the Queen’s death had had on the people of the United Kingdom, describing it as an “amazing sight” as “thousands and thousands” lined up to pay their respects.

Biden stated that he too would stand in line for 24 hours if needed to pay tribute to someone he loved, as many of Elizabeth’s fans and admirers have done.

Biden also said that long-term planning for world leaders to attend these funerals has paid off.

“Things are going on time,” he said. “It’s quite an impressive operation.”

Biden recounted his personal interactions with the queen over the years.

“She, of course, was the queen my whole life,” Biden said. “I met Joe after I got married. I was young, I was a young mother, when Joe was a senator, we went. [to the UK] To meet the Queen. It was very hot then.”

However, it was the Bidens’ private tea party last summer that left the deepest impression.

“I loved her curiosity,” Biden said of the time they spent alone with the Queen. “He wanted to know everything about American politics, so he asked Joe question after question.”

The First Lady echoed her husband’s sentiments about that meeting at the time, saying the Queen reminded her of her mother in some ways.

“We sat there in her living room, it was almost like being with your grandmother,” Jill Biden said, revealing how the Queen insisted on getting up to pour Biden’s tea.

Biden also covered King Charles III’s private reception at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening for the many dignitaries, royalty and world leaders in attendance.

Biden in London: Queen Elizabeth II was 'dignified, honorable and about service'

Biden said King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, were there, as were the new Prince and Princess of Wales, but Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, were not. Asked if Biden had met Harry and supported the Invictus Games charity, he told CNN: “No, I haven’t.”

Biden said his conversations with King Charles and the royal family at the reception were about the queen.

“We really talked about the woman, and who she was, and what she really meant to the whole world,” Biden said, noting that Charles was affected by grief.

“He’s a royal, but, you know, nobody should forget that he lost his mother, and Prince William lost a grandmother, and sometimes we forget the really human piece of that, and the grief that they have to go through, and how they have to grieve in public. But… they seem to be doing well.”

As for his lasting impression on the Queen, Biden said that in addition to “how nice and kind she was to me and Joe,” it would be her impact on the world, which Biden said he’s seeing firsthand.

“Now that I’ve met everyone at the reception, how many heads of state, kings and queens came here to honor and represent their countries,” Biden said. “Just as Joe and I feel honored to represent the American people.”