The Queen and US Presidents: Driving with Reagan and ‘chemistry’ with Trump

There were 14 US presidents in power during the Queen’s reign — and she met all of them except one.

Lyndon B Johnson, who took office in 1963 after the assassination of John F Kennedy, never crossed paths with the Queen.

The monarch has played a vital role in the UK’s relationship with the leaders of one of its closest allies over the decades.

She went horseback riding with Ronald Reagan, developed a warm friendship with the Obamas and, according to Trump, shared “automatic chemistry” with Donald Trump.

– Harry S Truman

In 1951, a young Princess Elizabeth — unknowingly three months away from becoming queen — traveled to Washington and saw President Harry S Truman, who was still sitting in the Oval Office when she ascended the throne.

President Harry Truman welcomes Princess Elizabeth to Washington DC (PA)

– Dwight D Eisenhower

During her first state visit to the US in 1957, the Queen met Dwight D Eisenhower and two years later the two heads of state met again in Canada.

The Queen and Dwight D Eisenhower in Quebec (PA)

The Queen is said to have had a loving relationship with Mr Eisenhower, who was even invited to stay at Balmoral.

– John F. Kennedy

The glamorous president and his wife Jackie dined with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in June 1961.

JFK and his wife Jacqueline with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh (PA)

– Lyndon B Johnson

Johnson took over after Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

He was president until 1969, but the Queen never met him and he died in 1973.

-Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon dined with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in February 1969.

The Queen also met him at Checkers in October 1970 and was photographed with him outside the Prime Minister’s official country residence.

The Queen with Prime Minister Edward Heath and Richard Nixon and his wife Pat at Checkers (PA)

– Gerard Ford

In 1976, on the bicentenary of the US, the Queen met Gerald Ford in the US.

The Queen Responds to Gerald Ford’s Welcome Speech in Washington DC (PA)

– Jimmy Carter

In 1977, the Queen was pictured in a billowing yellow dress with wide sleeves next to Jimmy Carter, in a black tie and tuxedo, when he came to London.

The Queen with Jimmy Carter at a dinner at Buckingham Palace (PA)

– Ronald Reagan

Ronald and Nancy Reagan stayed in the Queen’s favorite home, Windsor Castle, in 1982.

The two heads of state shared a love of horses and were famously pictured side by side in Windsor Great Park.

Ronald Reagan goes riding in Windsor with the Queen (PA)

She also met Mr. Reagan during an official visit to the US West Coast in 1983.

– George Bush Senior

George Bush Snr had lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1989.

She also visited him in the US in 1991 – the journey that led to “Podiumgate” – when the only thing visible of the Queen above the lectern, as she gave a speech on the White House lawn, was her hat.

George Bush with the Queen in the Picture Room at Buckingham Palace (PA)

She also met his son, future President George W. Bush, and was struck by his cowboy boots, inscribed with the words God Save the Queen, and asked him if he was the “black sheep of the family.”

Mr. Bush Junior admitted he was, while the Queen remarked “all families have them”, making him joke, “Who’s yours?”.

First Lady Barbara Bush intervened, urging the Queen not to respond.

– Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary have met the Queen several times, including in December 2000 when they raided the palace with their daughter Chelsea.

– George W. Bush

George W. Bush met the Queen a number of times during his tenure, first at the Palace in July 2001 and two years later for an official state visit to the UK, the first by an American leader.

When he welcomed her on a visit to the White House in 2007, the president winked at the Queen after committing a gaffe — adding 200 years to her age after mixing up his dates in a speech.

George Bush winks at the Queen (Fiona Hanson/PA)

(PA archive)

– Barack Obama

The Queen’s relationship with Barack and Michelle Obama was warm and friendly, even seeing her and the First Lady wrap their arms around each other as old friends after a reception ahead of the 2009 G20 summit.

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in 2009 (John Stillwell/PA)

A successful state visit to the UK followed in 2011 and the Obamas forged a strong bond with the Queen and her family, in particular the Duke of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

– Donald Trump

Donald Trump and his wife Melania were received by the Queen at Windsor Castle during a visit to the UK in 2018.

He returned the following year for a state visit and was joined by members of his family, meeting senior members of the royal family during the three-day visit.

The Queen and Donald Trump (Andrew Matthews/PA)

(PA archive)

Afterward, Trump called the Queen a “spectacular woman,” adding, “I really got to know her because I sat with her a lot and we had automatic chemistry, you’ll understand that feeling.”

They also met at the 75th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings in Portsmouth.

– Joe Biden

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden had tea with the Queen in Windsor in June 2021, having also met her at the G7 summit in Cornwall a few days earlier.

The Queen with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle in June 2021 (Matt Dunham/PA)

(PA archive)

Biden praised the queen’s generosity and said she reminded him of his mother.