The Queen has arrived at the Eden Project in Cornwall for a no-holds-barred dinner with G7 leaders – as Britain pulls out all the stops to dazzle the world’s most powerful.
The Royal Family is out in force for tonight’s reception, with the 95-year-old Monarch joined by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Boris Johnson and his new wife Carrie Johnson – wearing a subdued black floral dress in contrast with the fuchsia pink number she donned to meet leaders earlier today – were seen greeting the Royals.
Kate cut an elegant figure in a mid-length cream gown while Camilla opted for a long sleeve black and white dress. The Queen fit the horticultural theme of the venue in a dress patterned with flowers.
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill were also seen arriving as they walked underneath the leaf-covered arches and headed into the dinner.
The menu for the event has been created by chef Emily Scott of the Watergate Bay Hotel in Newquay and will include Cornish turbot and new potatoes for the main course, and local cheeses.
Afterwards, Prince Charles with Prince William at his side will host a reception for the leaders – including Mr Biden and Mr Johnson – and executives from some of the world’s largest companies to discuss how the private sector can work with governments to tackle climate change.
The Royals are at the centre of Britain’s diplomatic mission to woo the US as Mr Johnson pushes for a quick free trade deal with US President Joe Biden as well as a quarantine-free travel corridor this summer.
The Queen has arrived at the Eden Project in Cornwall for a no-holes-barred dinner with G7 leaders – as Britain pulls out all the stops to dazzle the world’s most powerful
Kate cut an elegant figure in a mid-length cream gown while Camilla opted for a long sleeve black and white dress. The Queen fit the horticultural theme of the venue in a dress patterned with flowers
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill were also seen arriving as they walked underneath the leaf-covered arches and headed into the dinner
Boris Johnson and his new wife Carrie Johnson were seen arriving at the Eden Project today
Carrie wore a subdued black floral dress in contrast with the fuchsia pink number she donned to meet leaders earlier today
The new Mrs Johnson beamed as she arrived with her husband today. She paired her dress with yellow pumps
The couple were seen clutching drinks as they arrived to attend the reception at the Eden Project
Mr Johnson today expanded on his vision for the qualities the world should be encouraging following the havoc wreaked by Covid-19.
In a bizarre opening speech, he urged other G7 leaders to aim for a more ‘feminine’ and ‘gender neutral’ recovery and appealed for them to ‘level up’ and not repeat the mistakes of the aftermath of the credit crunch when ‘inequality’ increased.
Also during the summit the Queen – in a rare joint engagement with Camilla and Kate – will also attend an event at the Eden Project in celebration of The Big Lunch, which will form part of her platinum jubilee celebrations in 2022.
The charity pulls together communities at events involving food and drink.
EARLIER TODAY: From left, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the European Council Charles Michel, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during the ‘family photo’ at Carbis Bay today
A grinning Emmanuel Macron strolled up alongside Brigitte (both right), with Boris Johnson (left with Carrie) warmly referring to him as ‘Emmanuel’ despite the French president stoking the Northern Ireland row by vowing to veto an overhaul of the protocol
Prime Minister Boris Johnson bumps elbows with France’s President Emmanuel Macron at Carbis Bay in Cornwall today
European Council President Charles Michel’s wife Amelie Derbaudrenghien (left) gets an elbow bump from Carrie Johnson
As Mr Johnson led the way inside at the urging of Mrs Merkel, Mr Macron took the opportunity to throw his arm around Mr Biden’s shoulders and begin an animated discussion
The three most senior royal women will meet Big Lunch volunteers, and thank them for their efforts supporting their communities through the challenges of the past year.
Tomorrow’s entertainment will include a barbecue on Carbis Bay beach that will feature the Red Arrows flypast and music from sea shanty group Du Hag Owr.
Chef Simon Stallard from the Hidden Hut restaurant in nearby Portscatho has put together a menu that will include local crab, mackerel, lobster and sirloin plus Cornish sparkling wine.
Away from the feasting and politics, pandemic precautions have meant all countries are sending smaller delegations than usual. All delegates, including leaders, will have to take a Covid test every day.
Justin Trudeau arrived alone to be greeted by the PM and Carrie on the beach at Carbis Bay
Mr Biden quipped that everyone should go for a swim in the sea – with Mr Johnson joking in response that he had already been in
The new Mrs Johnson seemed to take easily to her hosting duties at the summit in Cornwall this afternoon
The couple were seen smiling as they stood on the beach in Cornwall today. Mrs Johnson looked radiant in pink
Following the photo opportunity, Mrs Biden was seen walking in Carbis Bay wearing a coat to protect her from the chill
The Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson (right) with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her husband Heiko
Mrs Johnson bumped elbows with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the beach today
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, US President Joe Biden, President of France, Emmanuel Macron and European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (left to right) after the leaders official welcome and family photo
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife Mariko Suga arrived in Cornwall ahead of the family photo
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who was invited by Mr Johnson to attend the latter stages of the summit, will now take part virtually because of his country’s continuing Covid crisis.
Earlier today, the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, joined First Lady Jill Biden, 70, to meet children aged four and five in reception class at the Connor Downs Academy near Camborne this afternoon – followed by a round table discussion with UK education experts convened by Kate.
The royal mother-of-three and the US First Lady discussed female empowerment, children and early education during a seminar on their shared passion for children.
The animated pair, who met for the first time today, seemed to get on like a house on fire as they met children, staff and even helped feed carrots to the class rabbit, Storm.
Kate also told reporters she ‘can’t wait to meet’ her new niece Lilibet.
Mr Macron and US President Mr Biden walked together after the family photo at the start of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall
Mr Johnson walked next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G7 summit in Carbis Bay today
President Biden and France’s President Macron smiled as they walked along the boardwalk during the G7 summit
Mr Macron placed a hand on a distracted Mr Johnson’s back during the photo opportunity in Carbis Bay today
Mr and Mrs Johnson are seen smiling next to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they pose for a photo
Boris Johnson greets European Council President Charles Michel ahead of the family photo during the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay
Officially kicking off the summit in Carbis Bay this afternoon, the PM appealed for leaders to ‘level up’ and not repeat the mistakes of the aftermath of the credit crunch when ‘inequality’ increased.
But he sparked bewilderment as he expanded on his vision for the qualities the world should be encouraging following the havoc wreaked by the devastating disease.
As the leaders – including US president Joe Biden – sat around a table before the first session, Mr Johnson told them they need to ‘build back better’ and be ‘united in our vision for a cleaner, greener world’.
‘I think that is what the people of our countries now want us to focus on. They want us to be sure that we are beating the pandemic together and discussing how we will never have a repeat of what we have seen but also that we are building back better together,’ he said.
‘Building back greener and building back fairer and building back more equal and, how shall I, in a more gender neutral and, perhaps a more feminine way.
‘How about that, apart from anything else. So those are some of the objectives that we have before us at Carbis Bay.’
Asked what the premier meant by a ‘feminine’ recovery, his spokesman said he had been referring to a £430million pledge to support education for vulnerable young children and particularly girls.
The comments came after the PM finally came off the fence after days of dodging over whether the England football team should be ‘taking the knee’ – with No10 saying that he backs ‘peaceful protest’ and wants fans to get behind the team. It amounted to a slapdown for skills minister Gillian Keegan, who had slammed the gesture, linked to the BLM movement, for ‘creating new divisions’.
It marks a significant shift for the government, which has seemed keen to take aim at the so-called ‘woke’ agenda, triggering claims that they are waging cultural wars.
But it will also spark alarm among Tory MPs, many of whom are deeply suspicious of a BLM movement they regard as hard-Left and anti-police.
Before going into the private discussions that he described as a ‘fireside chat’ for the world’s most powerful countries, Mr Johnson told the group how pleased he was they could all meet in person for the first time since the crisis erupted.
‘I actually think this is a meeting that genuinely needs to happen because we need to make sure that we learn the lessons from the pandemic, we need to make sure that we don’t repeat some of the errors that we doubtless made in the course of the last 18 months or so and we need to make sure that we now allow our economies to recover,’ he said.
‘I think that they have the potential to bounce back very strongly and there is all sorts of reasons for being optimistic.
‘But it is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession in 2008, when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society and I think what has gone wrong with this pandemic, or what risks being a lasting scar, is that I think the inequalities may be entrenched.
‘We need to make sure that as we recover we level up across our societies and we build back better.’
Earlier, the PM and Carrie – believed to be a major influence on his green agenda – were all smiles as they formally greeted G7 leaders on the golden sands of Carbis Bay.
The PM and his new wife, wearing a vivid fuchsia Roksanda dress – which can be rented online for just £24 – welcomed the guests to the official start of the summit one by one on a beachfront board walk.
Mr Johnson today urged G7 leaders to aim for a more ‘feminine’ and ‘gender neutral’ recovery from coronavirus in a bizarre opening speech
As the leaders – including US president Joe Biden – sat around a table before the first session, Boris Johnson told them they need to ‘build back better’
Mr Johnson, who notoriously boasted he was still shaking hands with everyone in the early stages of the pandemic, appeared to remind himself not to get too close, saying ‘Elbows!’
Joe Biden was accompanied by wife Jill, while Angela Merkel was with her husband, but Justin Trudeau and Mario Draghi of Italy arrived alone.
A grinning Emmanuel Macron strolled up alongside Brigitte, with Mr Johnson warmly referring to him as ‘Emmanuel’ despite the French president stoking the Northern Ireland row by vowing to veto an overhaul of the protocol.
Mr Biden made a quip urging people to go swimming, saying ‘everyone in the water’- with Mr Johnson joking in response that he had already been in.
Jill Biden laughed: ‘I feel like we are at a wedding’. Later Mr Johnson joked that it was like ‘walking down the aisle.’
The leaders then posed for the traditional family photograph – again socially distanced – before heading inside for the first summit session.
But there was time for one more move from Mr Macron. As Mr Johnson led the way at the urging of Mrs Merkel, the French President took the opportunity to throw his arm around Mr Biden’s shoulders and begin an animated discussion.