Elizabeth II: From Dwight Eisenhower to Lady Gaga, she had met them all

From US President Dwight Eisenhower to Lady Gaga, Queen Elizabeth II met the most important political and artistic personalities of the past 70 years during her reign.

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Since ascending the throne in 1952, the Queen has met all current American presidents with the exception of Lyndon Johnson, i.e. 12 presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Joe Biden.


During the Cold War, relations with Eastern Bloc leaders and their allies were rare. Nikita Khrushchev had the Windsor honors in 1956. Only in 1989 and during perestroika was his distant successor Mikhail Gorbachev received there again.


Elizabeth II and Dwight Eisenhower | AFP

For her part, the Queen was the first British monarch in history to set foot on Russian soil in 1994 at the invitation of Boris Yeltsin.


Elizabeth II and Boris Yeltsin (1994) | AFP

From Mother Teresa to Malala Yousafzai, Elizabeth II welcomed the commitment of many Nobel Peace Prize winners. She had a particularly warm relationship with Nelson Mandela, one of her rare guests, who called her by her first name.

But it has also welcomed with honor representatives of the worst authoritarian regimes. Like the Zairian Mobutu Sese Seko, who was received on an official visit to London in 1973, or the Romanian President Nicolas Ceaucescu, who was invited in 1978.

On 27 June 2012 in Belfast, the Sovereign exchanged an historic handshake with Martin McGuinness, a veteran of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who became number two in the Republican party Sinn Féin and does not recognize the Queen’s sovereignty over the ‘. Northern Ireland.


Martin McGuinness and Elizabeth II (2016)

The photo of their exchange, fourteen years after the peace accords that ended the conflict between loyalists and separatists, went around the world.

The Queen has welcomed some of the greatest artists of the 20th centurye and 21e Centuries: Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolf Nureyev, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot…


Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth II (1952) | AFP

In her autobiography, Agatha Christie said buying a car and having dinner with the Queen in Buckingham were two of the most exciting moments of her life.

There she recalled “the kindness and lightness” of Elizabeth II, “So small and slender, in a simple black velvet gown adorned with a magnificent jewel”.

From Michael Jackson, still a teenager in The Jackson Five, to Lady Gaga through Madonna, the Queen has been introduced to the most popular pop stars, sometimes leading to hilarious scenes.


Madonna with Queen Elizabeth II | AFP

1ah December 1997, Elizabeth II, immaculately dressed and wearing white gloves, is photographed shaking hands with the Spice Girls, who sport plunging necklines and exposed bras.


In 2005, during a reception celebrating the British music industry, the sovereign asked Eric Clapton if “it’s been a long time[il joue] Guitar”. “It must be 45 years now,” replies the famous guitarist, then 59 years old.


Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page | AFP

Elizabeth II even had the opportunity to cross paths with fictional characters. In 2012 she was escorted by the most famous secret agent James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) to a sketch shot during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

In June, ahead of the opening of the Jubilee Concert, the Palace released a video of the Queen having tea with Paddington Bear and banging the beat.

Elizabeth II also met her fictional double, actress Helen Mirren, Oscar winner, on several occasions for playing her The Queen (2006). She was knighted by the Queen in 2003.

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