Queen Elizabeth Only Invited One US President To Meet With Her After He Left Office

Queen Elizabeth II took the throne in 1952 at just 25 years old and rapidly proved to the world that she was wise beyond her years. Her seven-decade reign ended with her death on September 8, 2022. In her time as the queen, she witnessed the immense changes to the world around her and graciously stood as a pillar of hope to many during times of growth and hardship.

Now, as the world mourns the loss of Her Majesty, millions recall the impact she had and the impressions she made on all with whom she interacted. During her reign, Queen Elizabeth met more than a fair share of important figures and world leaders. The queen met a total of 13 sitting U.S. presidents, and even bonded over shared hobbies, according to The New York Times. Meeting the queen of England is an honor not many received, and even for U.S. presidents, it's a moment met with excitement and awe.

Perhaps the excitement went both ways. From her first meeting with a president — Harry S. Truman, in 1951 in Washington D.C., before she was queen (per Insider) — to President Joe Biden in June of 2021, Queen Elizabeth was unfailingly gracious. President Biden said of her, "I don't think she would be insulted, but she reminded me of my mother in terms of the look of her and just the generosity" (per Politico). President Biden and first lady Jill Biden had tea with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. During a photo op she reportedly broke up the president by asking him, "Are you supposed to be looking as if you're enjoying yourself?" (per Politico).

She seemed to genuinely enjoy the company of some

The one president with whom she did not meet while he was in office was Lyndon Johnson. According to a report by Indy 100, it's unclear why the meeting never took place — it seems that President Johnson had some plans in place for such a meeting, but it never happened.

Those who did meet the queen, however, universally spoke of her with admiration. Her first meeting as queen with a president was Dwight Eisenhower. They seemed to have enjoyed a warm relationship — they corresponded for many years, and at one point the queen shared a scone recipe with the president (per Insider). When President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Queen Elizabeth established a scholarship fund in his honor. It's said that President Richard Nixon, who met the queen several times, both as vice president and president, tried to fix up his daughter Tricia with Prince Charles.

The queen also seems to have had a close relationship, bordering on friendship, with President Ronald Reagan. They shared a love of horses (in the photo above they're seen riding on the grounds of Windsor Castle) and the queen paid a visit to the Reagans' ranch in California in 1983. Six years later she granted President Reagan an honorary knighthood — the highest distinction awarded to foreigners by the United Kingdom — in thanks for his assistance to the U.K. during the Falklands War.

The queen shared a strong bond with Barack Obama

Although the queen spent time with presidents on multiple occasions when they were in office, she typically didn't invite presidents to visit once they were no longer taking residency in the White House. However, she made an exception for one former president whom she found particularly endearing: Barack Obama. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama first met Queen Elizabeth in April 2009, a few months after Obama had taken office. The queen developed a fondness for the president and throughout his presidency, they would share several more meetings. Obama's last visit as president to Windsor Castle was in 2016 for the queen's 90th birthday (per Hello!).

Queen Elizabeth enjoyed the company of the Obamas so much that she even wanted to invite them back once Obama left office, something that had not been done with any other former presidents. According to Insider, a former employee told royal author Tom Quinn that "The queen has a soft spot for Americans after meeting Barack Obama who she completely fell in love with – so much so that she has frequently asked her courtiers if they could arrange for him to come to Britain now he is no longer president."

Barack and Michelle Obama joined the world in expressing their sadness over the queen's passing and shared a statement on Twitter saying, "Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know Her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us." The bond between the former president and the queen was unique and a testament to their genuine enjoyment of one another.