G7 summit gets the royal touch: Britain turns on the charm for world leaders

Audience with the queen for presidents and prime ministers before a barbecue on the beach

The Duchess of Cambridge has joined First Lady Jill Biden for a trip to a school as the UK turns on the charm for visiting world leaders.

They visited an academy for four to 11-year-olds in Cornwall to highlight the issue of the early years development of children.

Kate, who has three children with Prince William, has made the issue of the early years of childhood one of the main focal points of her charity work.

The pair visited a classroom and then held a roundtable discussion where they talked about female empowerment, children and early education.

Asked about early education, Dr Biden said: "It's very important to the foundation. As a teacher at the upper levels, if they don't have a good foundation they fall so far behind.

"This is amazing to see how far advanced they are."

Later, Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will travel to Cornwall to meet some of the world's most powerful leaders as they dine among the extraordinary surroundings of the Eden Project.

The queen will host a pre-dinner reception at the biodiversity landmark, known for its impressive domes and range of flora.

The evening gathering will be the monarch’s first meeting with any foreign leader since the outbreak of Covid-19.

While the queen will not give a speech nor stay for dinner, her attendance is a display of the royal family’s diplomacy and their influential soft power.

On the menu for Friday night is spiced melon gazpacho, roast turbot and strawberry pavlova.

If an audience with the queen was not enough, world leaders will mingle on the beach for a British-style barbecue around a fire.

Simon Stallard, the chef hired by the Cabinet Office to serve up the seaside feast, said the plan was to create “a warm, nice vibe around the fire”.

He took his 15-metre barbecue grill to the beach at Carbis Bay to cook for the Bidens, Johnsons, Macrons and Merkels.

Queen Elizabeth and the late Duke of Edinburgh visit the Eden Project in St Austell, Cornwall. The monarch will hold an audience with world leaders there for the G7 summit. Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth and the late Duke of Edinburgh visit the Eden Project in St Austell, Cornwall. The monarch will hold an audience with world leaders there for the G7 summit. Getty Images

They will be served canapes of scallops, crab claws and mackerel, followed by sirloin and Newlyn lobster.

Cornish sea shanty band Du Hag Owr will provide the music.

Prince Charles will on Friday also host G7 leaders and chief executives of some of the world’s largest companies.

Charles, known for his environmental campaigning, said the summit was a "game-changing opportunity" and used the platform to highlight the "existential crisis" of climate change.

Prince Charles with US climate envoy John Kerry at St James' Palace in London on Thursday. AFP
Prince Charles with US climate envoy John Kerry at St James' Palace in London on Thursday. AFP

On Sunday, the queen will welcome the Bidens to Windsor Castle where they will receive a guard of honour, followed by tea.

Dr Biden spoke of her excitement at meeting the queen.

"Joe and I are both looking forward to meeting the queen. That's an exciting part of the visit for us,” she said.

"We've looked forward to this for weeks and now it's finally here. It's a beautiful beginning."

She also tweeted of her joy at spending some time on the beach with Carrie Johnson and her son Wilfred on Thursday.

Updated: June 11, 2021 05:56 PM

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