'Our hearts go out to you': Joe Biden says Queen reminded him of mom Catherine Finnegan before paying touching tribute

'You were fortunate to have had her (Queen) for 70 years,' Biden said while signing the book of condolence

'Our hearts go out to you': Joe Biden says Queen reminded him of mom Catherine Finnegan before paying touching tribute
Joe Biden said his mother Catherine Finnegan (R) reminded him of the Queen (@RoyalFamilyITNP screenshot/Twitter, Joe Raedle/Getty Images and Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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LONDON, ENGLAND: Joe Biden compared the Queen to his mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, before world leaders arrived at Buckingham Palace for a reception with King Charles. Biden said the "world is better" because of the Queen, as he spoke at Lancaster House while signing the book of condolence. 

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"We've had the opportunity to meet with an awful lot of consequential people, I can say that the ones who stand out in your mind are those whose relationship and interaction with you are consistent with their reputation," Biden said. He added, "When the Queen had us to the castle for tea and we had crumpets, she kept offering me more, I kept eating everything she put in front of me. She was the same in person as her image - decent, honorable and all about service."

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"My hearts go out to the Royal Family, to King Charles and all the family, it’s a loss that leaves a giant hole and sometimes you think you’ll never overcome it, but as I’ve told the King, she’s going to be with him every step of the way, every minute, every moment and that’s a reassuring notion," Biden added. "So to all the people of England, to all the people of the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you and you were fortunate to have had her for 70 years, we all were, the world’s better for her."

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Before heading to Buckingham Palace, Biden said on Sunday, September 18, that Queen Elizabeth II reminded him of his mother. Biden said she was similar in the way “she touched, when she leaned over... she (the Queen) had that look, like ‘are you OK? Anything I can do for you? What do you need?’ And then also make sure you do what you’re supposed to do,” Biden said. “It’s about treating people with dignity…that’s exactly what she communicated,” he said, according to Deadline. Biden had made similar claims last year. He had told reporters the Queen reminds him of his mother after visiting Windsor Castle with First Lady Jill Biden for a private tea in June. 

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Joe Biden mother allegedly hated the English

Biden's comparison of the Queen to his mother is bizarre as he had previously allegedly claimed that his mother hated the English. Georgia Pritchett, who is a writer and co-producer on the TV comedy 'Veep', wrote in her autobiography 'My Mess is a Bit of a Life' about her encounter with Biden in the White House when he was Barack Obama’s vice-president. The two were talking about a trip to Ukraine when Biden changed the topic.

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“He changed the subject to how much his mother hated the English. His parents were Irish and she had written several poems about her hatred of the English. He went off to find them and returned with hundreds of poems describing how God must smite the English and rain blood on our heads,” she wrote, according to The Guardian.

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Pritchett recalled that Biden said his mother had an issue while staying at a hotel in the UK where the Queen had earlier stayed. “She was so appalled that she slept on the floor all night, rather than risk sleeping on a bed that the Queen had slept on,” Pritchett wrote. Biden's mother died in 2010.

Who will attend the event?

Biden earlier made the sign of the cross and placed his hand on his heart while taking his place on the balcony in Westminster Hall for the Queen's lying in state. He was accompanied by his wife Jill. The couple arrived at Buckingham Palace in the presidential car. 

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On Monday, September 19, the country will observe a minute's silence to remember the Queen at 8 pm on Monday. People will mark the occasion privately at home, on their doorstep or the street. They have also been invited to hold community events and vigils. This comes after Camilaa, the Queen Consort, paid a televised tribute to Queen. Recalling her “wonderful blue eyes”, she said, " will always remember her smile.” 

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Biden will be joined by fellow G7 leaders French President Emmanuel Macron, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Japanese Emperor Naruhito. Several other royals will also attend the event, including the kings of Belgium, Bhutan, Jordan, Lesotho, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, and Tonga. The Queen of Denmark will also be seen, along with the crown princes of Bahrain, Kuwait and Liechtenstein, plus the sultans of Brunei and Oman.

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Maori King Tuheitia Paki and PM Jacinda Ardern will represent New Zealand. Other Commonwealth leaders are Australian PM Anthony Albanese, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Jamaican PM Andrew Holness. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel will attend too, along with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin. China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol are also set to attend the event, but six countries remained uninvited, including Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela. As many as two million mourners will be descending on London. 

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