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Queen delights world leaders with joke at glittering G7 reception

·3 min read
The Queen put leaders at ease at the G7 reception (Getty Images)
The Queen put leaders at ease at the G7 reception (Getty Images)

The Queen put world leaders at ease on Friday night as she shared a joke during a glittering G7 reception in Cornwall.

She was joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Eden Project.

Shortly after arriving at the venue, she posed for a photograph with Angela Merkel, Ursula von der Leyen, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau, Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, among others.

As photographers took pictures she quipped: “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?”

The group descended into laughter as Mr Johnson replied “yes”.

(Left to right) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Queen Elizabeth II, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, President of the European Council Charles Michel and United States President Joe Biden (Getty Images)
(Left to right) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Queen Elizabeth II, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, President of the European Council Charles Michel and United States President Joe Biden (Getty Images)

“We have been enjoying ourselves – in spite of appearances,” he added.

Mrs Merkel walked over to the Queen and thanked her for posing for the picture, saying: “Thank you for doing that for us.”

It was the royals’ first joint engagement since the pandemic began.

Their presence at the G7 summit is part of the government’s attempts to maximise the royal family’s powers of soft diplomacy.

Senior royals attend the Eden Project reception (PA)
Senior royals attend the Eden Project reception (PA)

Mr Johnson’s new wife Carrie and First Lady Jill Biden also attended the reception.

After the photocall, the Prince of Wales hosted an event with CEOs and G7 leaders urging them to display the same sense of urgency in response to climate change as they showed in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Charles said the Covid-19 pandemic had shown what a “truly borderless crisis” looks like.

Kate, Camilla and the Queen (PA)
Kate, Camilla and the Queen (PA)

“Of course, we did not fully see Covid coming,” he said.

“Yet climate change and biodiversity loss represent a borderless crisis, the solutions to which have been argued about and postponed for far too long.”

He said the battle against the pandemic provided a “crystal-clear example of the scale, and sheer speed, at which the global community can tackle crises when we combine political will with business ingenuity and public mobilisation”.

Mr and Mrs Johnson welcomed the Queen at the Eden Project (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mr and Mrs Johnson welcomed the Queen at the Eden Project (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen speaks to guests at the Eden Project (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen speaks to guests at the Eden Project (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen, joined by Camilla and Kate, also attended a celebration of The Big Lunch initiative, which brings together communities involving food and drink.

Kate wore a mid-length, £3,000 cream gown by Alexander McQueen while Camilla opted for a long sleeve black and white frock.

The Queen wore a dress patterned with flowers.

During the celebration, the Queen insisted on borrowing a ceremonial sword to cut a cake during a royal engagement – prompting laughter from the Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge.

The monarch had been handed the sword by Edward Bolitho, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, for the task of cutting a large cake marking the Big Lunch at the Eden Project.

When told by an aide that there was a conventional knife available, the Queen replied: “I know there is, this is more unusual”.

The Duchess of Cornwall said, “that’s slicing through”, before assisting with the final part of cutting the cake, which was loudly applauded by those at the event.

After handing the sword back, the Queen used a knife to cut a second slice of cake and remarked: “That looks very good.”

On Sunday, Joe Biden and the First Lady will be welcomed to Windsor Castle as the Queen hosts the couple for a Guard of Honour and tea.

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