How Queen Elizabeth II Moved Past Baby Lilibet Tensions With G7 Charm Offensive

Queen Elizabeth II helped push the palace beyond the latest war of words with Prince Harry during three busy days of high-profile royal jobs.

The prince and Meghan Markle's lawyers last week accused the BBC of libel over a story about the name they gave their baby daughter Lilibet, born earlier this month.

Britain's most famous broadcaster on Wednesday ran a quote from a "palace source" saying Elizabeth was "never asked" for permission to use her childhood nickname.

The couple's spokesperson said in a statement Harry had told his grandmother of their intentions and they would not have proceeded if she had not been supportive.

The BBC refused to remove its online story, leaving the bitter taste of another trans-Atlantic briefing war between the Sussexes and the palace just a day before what would have been Prince Philip's 100th birthday

Joe Biden Meets the Queen for Tea
Queen Elizabeth II with U.S. President Joe Biden in the Grand Corridor during their visit to Windsor Castle on June 13 in Windsor, England. Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

With Harry and Meghan on family leave just a week after Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor's birth, it fell to the working royals to give the media something else to talk about.

The G7 summit in Cornwall on Friday allowed the royal family to move the news agenda on with a demonstration of the "soft power" they are famous for.

And at 95, it was the queen's busiest three days of royal engagement since before the pandemic first sent Britain into lockdown in March last year.

The queen had her first meeting with President Joe Biden and joined other world leaders at the Eden Project, in Cornwall, on Friday.

The Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen at the celebration of the Big Lunch Initiative at the Eden Project in Cornwall! #G7Summit2021 #G7UK⁰⁰Learn More: https://t.co/FbDzhiTSaC

pic.twitter.com/Ki8768Famm

— The Royal Watcher (@saadsalman719) June 11, 2021

She made the seven world leaders laugh by asking: "Are you supposed to be looking as if you're enjoying yourselves?"

And she also got a chuckle from onlookers after insisting on cutting a cake with a ceremonial sword.

On Saturday, she was back in Windsor for a scaled-down version of her birthday parade, Trooping the Color, at Windsor Castle.

However, the centerpiece of the week's events was tea with Joe and Jill Biden today.

The queen wore a pink dress and hat as she stood in the afternoon sunshine waiting for the president and first lady to arrive on helicopter Marine One just before 5 p.m. local time.

Elizabeth could be seen joking with her American guests as they gathered to watch a Guard of Honor in the castle's Quadrangle before the U.S. national anthem was played.

The trio then had tea inside the castle beyond the glare of the media gathered outside.

Katie Nicholl, Vanity Fair's royal editor, told the BBC: "She really struck me as looking so happy.

"When we saw those pictures of her and that footage of her as well on Friday, of course she was there for the G7 reception, she looked very at ease and she looks at ease in the company of the Bidens and they also in her company."

She added: "One of the queen's key roles really in being head of state is to be that soft diplomatic power and to be there to welcome the president.

"Britain has enjoyed, over the past couple of days, being on the center of the world stage.

"The eyes of the world have been on us and so far it has gone very, very well."

A photograph of the visiting couple and the queen inside the castle showed the sumptuous royal decor.

No account was given about what was discussed between them but Nicholl said she believed Harry and Meghan would likely have come up.

In Focus

Queen Elizabeth II Meets the Bidens

Queen Elizabeth II Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2021 in Windsor, England. The queen's role in British diplomacy is sometimes referred to as 'soft power.'
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The prince met Jill Biden several times through their shared interest in supporting veterans. Their most recent public encounter was at the Invictus Games, in Toronto, in 2017 when the president was also there.

Nicholl told the BBC: "I'm sure the Sussexes absolutely will come up in conversation. There is a friendship between the Sussexes and the Bidens, so I would be very surprised if it wasn't.

"Regardless of that friendship, Harry and Meghan are living on California soil. They're in America, and don't forget the queen likes America."