King Charles lost his patience and appeared to scold a guard when he tried to get President Joe Biden to hurry along in an extraordinary moment during their meeting at Windsor Palace on Monday.
Mr Biden appeared to ignore Charles when he tried to get him to stop talking during their inspection of the Welsh Guards in the middle of a welcome ceremony before talks on climate change.
A hands-on Mr Biden, 80, risked breaking royal protocol by grabbing 74-year-old Charles’ arm as they shook hands and putting his hand on his back during their lap of the quadrangle.
He also clutched the handrail to get on stage for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner after forcing Charles to wait for his SUV to drive through the castle.
At one point, the monarch tried to get Mr Biden to keep walking while he spoke to one of the guards. The president stood and kept chatting while the King tried, and failed, to get him to keep moving.
Charles then appeared to direct his anger at the guard before walking away with the president who has tried to quash allegations he is anti-British.
President Joe Biden met and embraced King Charles on Monday after snubbing his Coronation in May, as he faces allegations he is anti-British
Mr Biden grabbed Charles’ arm as they greeted each other on the grounds of Windsor Castle
The president also put his hand on Charles’ back, before doing a lap of the Windsor Castle quadrangle to inspect the Welsh Guards
Mr Biden is spending just 24 hours in London, sparking questions over why a full British state visit hasn’t been planned. He spent just 42 minutes having tea with Prime Minster Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street.
He faced fury in May after he decided to skip Charles’ Coronation and send First Lady Jill and granddaughter Finnegan, and raised eyebrows when he bizarrely ended a June speech saying ‘God save the Queen, man’.
Mr Biden last had formal talks with Charles at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021.
Earlier during his British trip, Mr Biden tried to quash claims he is anti-British by sipping tea with Mr Sunak in the garden of 10 Downing Street.
The president said US-British relations are ‘rock solid’ and hammered home that he and Mr Sunak had held talks multiple times in recent months.
It follows a trip to Northern Ireland and Ireland where he was accused of snubs and anti-British jibes.
‘It’s good to be back,’ he said, joking, ‘We’ve only been meeting once a month.’
The British flag was clearly visible on the US president’s ‘Beast’ as it pulled into the famous street – in stark contrast to its absence when he visited Northern Ireland earlier this year. Mr Biden and Mr Sunak greeted each other with a warm handshake on the steps before starting their discussions.
But frustration is mounting that although it will be their fifth meeting in as many months, Mr Biden is largely ignoring the UK’s views.
John Kerry (left with his hand raised) speaks to Joe Biden and King Charles below a chandelier inside Windsor Castle
King Charles and Mr Biden smile for a photo inside the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle during their talks on climate change
Paintings surrounded the pair during their walk through the royal residence
They shook hands before inspecting the Welsh Guards in the quadrangle after Marine One touched down on the grounds
King Charles III and Mr Biden inspect the Guard of Honour from the Prince of Wales’s Company of the Welsh Guard
A tactile president rests his hands on Charles’ back during their meeting at Windsor Castle on Monday
More flashpoints have emerged over recent days, with Biden pouring cold water on the idea of Ukraine joining Nato anytime soon.
He has also put Sunak in an awkward position by declaring the US will supply Kyiv with cluster bombs – weapons the UK is committed to shunning.
And the pair could have tricky exchanges over the next head of Nato, after Mr Biden seemingly blocked the ambitions of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and backed the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen for the top job.
British Conservative MP David Jones told the Mail engagement was useless if there was no ‘positive response’. ‘The PM should remind him which country is America’s strongest ally,’ he added.
As the leaders sat down on rattan furniture in the Downing Street garden, Mr Biden told Mr Sunak he ‘couldn’t be meeting with a closer friend and greater ally’.
‘Our relationship is rock solid,’ he said.
Marine One is escorted to the grounds by a Metropolitan Police helicopter
Mr Biden also grabbed United States Ambassador to the UK Jane Hartley before boarding Air Force One on the way to the NATO summit in Lithuania
Members of the Welsh Guards prepare ahead of a guard of honor to be inspected by Joe Biden and King Charles
The Welsh Guards arrive ahead of a meeting between King Charles and President Biden
In talks in the Downing Street garden, on the eve of a crunch Nato summit in Lithuania, Joe Biden told the PM the Special Relationship is ‘rock solid’
Biden did his best to dispense with any sign of rupture in US-British relations as the White House tried to tamp down the significance of him snubbing King Charles’s coronation
A member of the US Army leaves 10 Downing Street with the nuclear football
Larry the Cat waits for President Joe Biden’s arrival at 10 Downing Street
But Larry didn’t get to meet Biden as a member of staff scooped him off the steps
Sunak said the pair would consider ‘how do we strengthen our co-operation, joint economic security to the benefit of our citizens’.
He added: ‘We stand as two of the firmest allies in that alliance and I know we’ll want to do everything we can to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security.’
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had touted the repeated contacts with Sunak aboard Air Force One en route to London – with a rare slip-up where he brought up the touchy subject of the coronation of Charles, which Biden skipped. He dispatched first lady Jill Biden instead.
‘He’ll also have the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Sunak at Number 10. This actually will be his first time at Number 10 as president. He, of course, has been to the UK twice before — once for the G7 in Carbis Bay and once for the COP in Glasgow. And then, of course, a third time he was here for the — the coronation — or, sorry, for the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,’ he said.
Biden is said to be pushing for the current European Commission president to take charge of the military alliance.
But British MPs have complained that he is ‘being a d***’, after apparently being angered by Britain failing to get his approval to train Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighter jets.
Conservatives have warned that Ms von der Leyen was the ‘worst ever’ German defence minister before becoming commission president.
On her watch Berlin’s troops notoriously trained with broomsticks on Nato exercises because they did not have enough rifles.
Biden told CNN in an interview broadcast as he set off on his journey that Ukraine was not ‘ready for membership’ in NATO.
‘I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,’ he said.
He noted that NATO members are committed every inch of each other’s territory, while war is raging inside Ukraine.
‘If the war is going on, then we’re all in war,’ he said.