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

Queen Elizabeth II and American singer Lady Gaga (d) on December 7, 2009 in Blackpool, Lancashire ( LEON NEAL / AFP/Archives )

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

West to East

Since her accession to the throne in 1952, the Queen has met with every sitting US president except Lyndon Johnson. That is 12 presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Joe Biden.

Queen Elizabeth II and US President Barack Obama May 24, 2011 at Buckingham Palace, London
Queen Elizabeth II and US President Barack Obama, May 24, 2011 at Buckingham Palace, London (LEWIS WHYLD / POOL/AFP/Archives)

During the Cold War, relations with the leaders of the Soviet bloc and its allies were rare. Nikita Kroutchtchev had the honors of Windsor in 1956. It was not until 1989, and perestroika, that his distant successor Mikhail Gorbachev was received there again.

The queen was, for her part, the first British monarch in history to set foot on Russian soil, invited by Boris Yeltsin in 1994.

War and peace

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

Elizabeth II and Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko during her visit to London in 1973
Elizabeth II and Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko during his visit to London in 1973 (- / AFP/Archives)

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

Historic meeting

On June 27, 2012, in Belfast the sovereign exchanged a historic handshake with Martin McGuinness, veteran of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who became number two in the Republican party Sinn Fein, who does not recognize the sovereignty of the queen over the ‘North Ireland.

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

– Famous artists –

The Queen met some of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st century: Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolf Nureyev, Charlie Chaplin, Franck Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot…

Elizabeth II meets actress Helen Mirren, who played her, at a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2014
Elizabeth II meets actress Helen Mirren, who played her, at a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2014 (YUI MOK/POOL/AFP/Archives)

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

She remembered there “the kindness and the ease” of Elizabeth II “so small and slender, in a simple black velvet dress embellished with a magnificent jewel”.

pop stars

From Michael Jackson, still a teenager in The Jackson Five, to Lady Gaga via Madonna, the queen has been introduced to the most popular pop stars, sometimes resulting in comical scenes.

Elizabeth II meets the Spice Girls, December 1, 1997 in London
Elizabeth II meets the Spice Girls, December 1, 1997 in London ( / POOL/AFP/Archives )

On December 1, 1997, Elizabeth II, impeccable brushing and white gloves, is photographed shaking hands with the Spice Girls, who display 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 that (he plays) the guitar. “It must be 45 years now”, replies the famous guitarist. , then 59 years old.

On Bond’s arm

Queen Elizabeth II and actor Daniel Craig embodying James Bond, July 28, 2012 at Buckingham Palace, London
Queen Elizabeth II and actor Daniel Craig playing James Bond, July 28, 2012 at Buckingham Palace, London ( – / LOCOG/AFP/Archives )

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

In June, the Palace released a video of the Queen having tea with Paddinton Bear and beating the beat, ahead of the opening of the Jubilee concert.

Elizabeth II has also met several times with her fictional double, actress Helen Mirren, Oscar winner for having played her in “The Queen” (2006). The queen had ennobled her in 2003.

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