Joe Biden's Mother Had An Eyebrow-Raising Opinion Of The Late Queen Elizabeth

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To say that the relationship between Great Britain and Ireland is complicated is an understatement. To put it in a nutshell, there were 800 years of conflict between England and Ireland; in 1922, Ireland became independent, but Northern Ireland stayed a part of the United Kingdom. Through the late 1960s to the late 1990s, there was additional conflict — referred to as "the Troubles" — between nationalists of Ireland and unionists of Northern Ireland, per The Washington Post.

Some politicians from Northern Ireland have expressed their sorrow upon Queen Elizabeth's passing and noted her work towards ending the conflict with Ireland. Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein vice-president, said, "I am grateful for Queen Elizabeth's significant contribution and determined efforts to advancing peace and reconciliation between our two islands," per Belfast Telegraph. Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch in 100 year to visit Ireland when she went in 2011, according to Irish Central. She placed a wreath at a memorial to those who died fighting for Irish freedom, and in a speech at Dublin Castle said, "To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past, I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy."

The relationship, however, remains complicated for many. As it turns out, President Joe Biden's Irish mother had a clear and unfavorable opinion of the queen and the crown.

Joe Biden's mother was no fan of the English or the monarchy

Catherine "Jean" Biden's grandparents were both Irish immigrants, HuffPost notes, and she seems to have held an unfavorable opinion of England or at least the monarchy. In Joe Biden's autobiography "Promises to Keep," he wrote that when his mother heard that in 1982 he was going to be part of a Senate delegation who would meet Queen Elizabeth II, she told him straight away, "Don't you bow down to her." We don't know what he did on that particular visit, but the president didn't bow upon meeting the queen when he visited in 2021. It's tradition, but not a mandate, to bow to the British monarch.

Joe also reportedly told Georgia Pritchett, a writer and co-executive producer of HBO's "Veep," about his mother's opinion of the queen and England. Pritchett was conducting research for the show at the White House when Joe said his mother was once in a hotel in the U.K. where the queen had stayed, and she slept on the floor rather than the bed the queen may have slept in, according to The Guardian. Joe also said his mother wrote poems "about her hatred of the English."

After his 2021 visit with the queen, Joe has said that the monarch actually reminded him of his mother, per ITV. Who knows what his mother would have thought of that.