From Churchill to Trump: Queen Elizabeth II with World Leaders | History Hit

From Churchill to Trump: Queen Elizabeth II with World Leaders

Teet Ottin

09 May 2022
Queen Elizabeth II stands with European leaders during an event marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day June 5, 2019 in Portsmouth, England.
Image Credit: White House Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

As the former head of state of the United Kingdom, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II met an impressive number of world leaders throughout her 70 year long reign, including 15 British Prime Ministers, ranging from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, and 13 US Presidents. During the Cold War, she hosted both allied representatives and guests from the other side of the Iron Curtain. She was one of the most travelled monarchs in British history, paying a visit to every continent in the world (except Antarctica).

Here are key figures that Queen Elizabeth met over the years, from Winston Churchill to Indira Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev to Donald J. Trump.

Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill, 1941 (left) / Winston Churchill with Queen Elizabeth II (right)

Image Credit: Yousuf Karsh, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (left) / Official photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (right)

Winston Churchill served as the Queen’s first Prime Minister from 1951 to 1955. They both met for the first time when Elizabeth (then princess) was two years old. The Queen wrote a personal handwritten letter to Churchill when he decided to retire from his role as Prime Minister.

Josip Broz Tito 

Josip Broz Tito – President of the SFR Yugoslavia, picture taken 1961 (right) / The Queen walking with Tito, 1971 (left)

Image Credit: Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (right) / Stevan Kragujević, CC BY-SA 3.0 RS , via Wikimedia Commons (left)

On 16 March 1953, the Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito visited Buckingham Palace – the first time following the end of World War Two that a communist leader travelled to a Western country.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

The US President and the First Lady accompany the British royal family on a visit to the National Presbyterian Church, 1957

Image Credit: National Presbyterian Church, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower was sworn into office as the President of the United States of America. He became the first US leader who met the Queen during her reign. Elizabeth II had made acquaintance with President Truman when she was still a princess in 1951.

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy

The Kennedys with The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1961

Image Credit: Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

John F. Kennedy served as the 35th President of the United States from 1961 until his death in 1963. He and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy (later Onassis) visited Buckingham Palace in June of 1961. 

Kwame Nkrumah

Ghana’s president Kwame Nkrumah with Queen Elizabeth II, 1961

Image Credit: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

The Queen has kept a close relationship with the countries in the Commonwealth of Nations, mostly comprised of former British colonies. One of these is the West African state of Ghana, which gained its independence in 1957. Elizabeth II decided to visit the country in 1961, which famously culminated in a dance between her and the President of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah.

Hassanal Bolkiah

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei, 2021 (left) / State visit of Queen Elizabeth II in Brunei on 1 March 1972. Queen Elizabeth II is walking in the first row of the procession with the Sultan of Brunei on her left side (right)

Image Credit: Quirinale.it, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons (left) / AnonymousUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (right)

The Sultan of Brunei is one of the few absolute monarchs in the world. Hassanal Bolkiah met the Queen during her state visit to Brunei in 1972.

Indira Gandhi

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the President’s Palace, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. 17 November 1983

Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Indira Gandhi served as India’s 3rd Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the 1st Prime Minister of India and the wife of Feroze Gandhi (no relation to Mahatma Gandhi). 

She met Queen Elizabeth II in 1969, during a visit to the UK. The Queen visited India herself on three occasions: in 1961, 1983 and in 1997. 

Ronald Reagan

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip stand with President and Mrs. Reagan during a state dinner. The Queen was on a tour of the West Coast of the United States.

Image Credit: U.S. Military, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

US President Ronald Reagan and the Queen shared a love for horses, with both of them riding together during Her Majesty’s visit in 1983. Elizabeth II made the US President laugh with a joke about the Californian weather during a dinner.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev visiting The Queen at Windsor Castle. 7 April 1989

Image Credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the USSR, overseeing the programs of glasnost and perestroika. His time as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union oversaw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the warming up of relations with the West. 

The Queen met Gorbachev and his wife in Windsor Castle during his visit to the United Kingdom in 1989. He also engaged in talks with the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

François Mitterrand

Queen Elizabeth II speaks with French President Francois Mitterrand during a dinner at the Guildhall on 4 June 1994. The dinner was one of a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Image Credit: Kevin Lamarque of REUTERS / Alamy

François Mitterrand was one of the French presidents who enjoyed the most contact with the Queen. It is said that they got on very well and that the Queen enjoyed talking with him. Between 1981 and 1995, they met on several occasions, most notably at the creation of the European Union in 1992, and at the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin shaking hands with Prince Philip. Lyudmila Putina, Tony Blair, and Elizabeth II are in the background.

Image Credit: kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth II met Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2003 during his state visit to the United Kingdom. He allegedly broke Royal protocol by being 15 minutes late for his meeting with the Queen.

George W. Bush

President George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II in WWashington, D.C. 7 May 2007

Image Credit: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

The Queen met the 43rd US president for the first time in 2001 during his visit to London. George W. Bush led the US during some of its most turbulent times following the 9/11 terrorist attacks

This picture shows the Queen’s visit to the United States in 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestowne. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush hosted Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the White House.

Donald J. Trump

Former President Donald J. Trump and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 13 July 2018

Image Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The 45th US president paid an official visit to the United Kingdom in July 2018, where he was greeted by the Queen. It was Donald J. Trump’s first time meeting the British head of state. As pictured, while at Windsor Castle, Trump broke royal protocol by walking in front of the Queen as they inspected the Guard of Honour.

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden pose for an official photo with Queen Elizabeth II in the Grand Corridor of Windsor Castle. 2021

Image Credit: The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

President Joe Biden and his wife Jill had tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle in June 2021 following the G7 summit in Cornwall. The visit came just two months after the death of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip.

Tags: George W. Bush Queen Elizabeth II John F. Kennedy

Teet Ottin

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