Every U.S. President King Charles Has Met

Long before King Charles III was set to take the throne, he was known as Prince Charles. Prior to his tumultuous marriage to the late Princess Diana and the birth of their sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, Charles was a young prince who was expected to represent the monarchy at stately events and be present for royal affairs. Even as a child, sometimes that meant meeting other world leaders, including U.S. presidents.

Of the 14 presidents in office since Charles was born in 1948, he has met 10 of them. Meetings between presidents and the king have taken place both home and away, sometimes requiring Charles to travel to the states, and other times happening in the comfort of royal property. In either scenario, the king has managed to leave a favorable impression among all of the presidents he has met and has historically had a good working relationship with them.

The current monarch's good favor among American leaders has spanned many decades. Both as a young prince and as the current king of the Commonwealth, relations between Charles and U.S. presidents have generally been very positive. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower met King Charles when he was just a boy

King Charles III met his first United States president when he was just 10 years old. In September of 1959, Dwight D. Eisenhower traveled to Balmoral Castle where he met the late Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Also in attendance were Prince Philip and Princess Anne. Charles and Anne both wore tartan kilts and were pictured walking the castle grounds with the 34th president of the United States. 

Although this was Charles' first time meeting Eisenhower, the queen already had a longstanding friendship and professional relationship with the president. Prior to becoming the commander in chief of the United States military, Eisenhower occupied the position of supreme commander of the allied forces in Europe. He spent an extensive amount of time in European countries during World War II and visited King George VI and his family many times. By the time Eisenhower first took office in 1953, he and the queen were already well acquainted. They occasionally corresponded with one another by letter, and the queen even mailed a scone recipe to the president after he mentioned how fond he was of them at the palace.

While Charles may not have had a working relationship with Eisenhower due to his young age, from the photos of their meeting, it appears they enjoyed each other's company. Eisenhower left office two years later in 1961 and died 10 years later in 1969.

Richard Nixon tried to set King Charles up with his daughter

During King Charles' first trip to the United States, he met President Richard Nixon — and, perhaps more notably, the president's daughter. The year was 1970, and 21-year-old Charles famously made the acquaintance of Tricia Nixon. The then-prince and former first daughter attended many events together during Charles' stay, and it was speculated that Richard Nixon was attempting to orchestrate a marriage between the two. They were pictured at a Senator's baseball game together and attended a formal White House dinner together during the prince's last night in the country. 

Records show that President Nixon was extremely fond of the entire royal family, and may have viewed a prospective marriage between the two as an opportunity to improve relations between the U.S. and Britain — as noted in a letter by the president himself (via The Richard Nixon Library & Museum). But it seems the two of them didn't hit it off as anything more than friends, and Tricia went on to marry Harvard graduate Edward F. Cox less than a year later.

In addition to the time Charles spent with Tricia during his D.C. trip, he also spent a good deal of time with the president himself. As reported by The New York Times on July 19, 1970, Nixon spoke one-on-one with Charles for nearly an hour and a half. While we aren't sure what the conversation consisted of, it can be assumed that President Nixon enjoyed Charles' company.

Jimmy Carter broke protocol when he met King Charles and The Queen Mother

King Charles' first meeting with President Jimmy Carter happened on May 7, 1977. The 39th U.S. president had traveled to England to attend a NATO conference and was staying at Buckingham Palace. That evening, Carter was introduced to King Charles, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, and The Queen Mother. But according to an infamous report (via the Mirror), Carter majorly broke royal protocol while making introductions with The Queen Mother herself.

Per the report, instead of simply bowing his head to the elder queen as protocol would suggest, Carter opted to kiss The Queen Mother on the lips. This action stunned her, and in a later interview, she stated that no one had kissed her like that since her husband, King George VI, who had died 25 years earlier. We aren't sure what kind of impression this made on the young King Charles, but we can imagine it was a lasting one given that he watched a foreign official lay an unwelcome kiss on his grandmother.

Beyond that eventful dinner party, it doesn't appear that Charles and Carter had much communication with one another. Carter's term lasted four more years until 1981, after losing the election to Ronald Reagan by a landslide.

Princess Diana stole the show when King Charles met Ronald Reagan

King Charles' visit to President Ronald Reagan in 1985 is one of the most famous royal visits on U.S. soil in history — but it wasn't due to Charles' presence. The future heir to the throne was accompanied by his wife, Princess Diana, and she inarguably stole the show that evening.

As it was the couple's first time visiting America together, the Reagans organized a special dinner honoring their time in the States. A very limited number of extremely famous and influential people made the guest list, one of them being John Travolta. The "Grease" actor was nervous to ask the princess to dance with him, but after some encouragement from First Lady Nancy Reagan, the two were photographed twirling around the dance floor. This image proved to be one of the most famous photos of the late princess of all time. Other notable attendees that evening included Neil Diamond, Clint Eastwood, and Tom Selleck, who all made the acquaintance of Charles and Diana. 

At the event, President Reagan and King Charles both made toasts at the beginning of the evening. The festivities continued into the next morning, and the night was remembered as one of the most lively White House dinners ever. As President Reagan wrote himself: "The dinner for the Prince and Diana was a great success. It had not a hint of 'State Dinner' flavor. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time" (via Ronald Reagan Presidential Library).

King Charles attended George H.W. Bush's funeral

On February 22, 1990, King Charles was pictured shaking hands with George H.W. Bush for a luncheon (via Twitter). Although it's possible Charles had met Bush Sr. on a previous trip to the U.S. when he was the Vice President under Ronald Regan, the photograph of the two of them taken in the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room is the first documented account of the pair together. And while this may have been the first time the two leaders had met, many people may be surprised to learn that they are actually related — distantly, but still related.

According to Deseret News, genealogy experts went to great lengths to trace George H.W. Bush's lineage. Turns out, the 41st president of the United States was related to Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as well as his then-wife, Princess Diana. Bush was a 13th cousin twice removed to the queen, and a 13th cousin four times removed to the late Princess Diana. It's a small world, indeed.

After the former president died in 2018, Charles attended his funeral in place of his mother. While the queen regretted not being able to attend the memorial, she issued a public statement to pay her condolences to the late president. The queen was 92 years old at the time of Bush's death.

King Charles met George W. Bush during troubling times

King Charles met George W. Bush and Laura Bush in 2003. Charles welcomed the pair at Heathrow Airport, then personally traveled with them by helicopter to meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. The visit occurred amid the Afghanistan War, and Bush was met by protestors upon his arrival in London. There was a high level of security personnel present throughout the trip, ensuring the president's safety since he had fallen out of favor with many British citizens. Despite the worldwide political tension that was present during their first meeting, Charles and George W. Bush maintained a positive working relationship for many years. 

Charles even had dinner with Jenna Bush Hager, Bush's daughter, on September 7, 2022, the night before his mother died. Camilla, Queen Consort was scheduled to be interviewed by Jenna on NBC the following day, but instead, had to cancel due to the queen's death. On the day the queen died, Jenna shared that she and Charles had a "joyful" dinner the night before (via the Mirror) and emotionally expressed her condolences for the queen to viewers on the "Today" show (via the Daily Mail).

King Charles joked with Barack Obama in the Oval Office

On May 4, 2011, King Charles traveled to the White House to meet Barack Obama. The pair sat across from one another in the Oval Office and spoke about many relevant issues. Per CBS, the two leaders commended one another on their efforts regarding environmental issues, food sustainability, and their previous efforts during the Afghanistan War. Charles stayed in Washington for three days during this trip and also visited the Supreme Court and the British Embassy.

The second time Charles and Obama met was on March 19, 2015, and held many similarities to their first official meeting. According to NPR, the two even laughed together as Obama made a tongue-in-cheek comment about how Americans are more fond of the royals than they are of their own politicians. Charles was amused by the joke but politely disagreed in response. During the conversation that followed, Charles told the president that he had enjoyed a visit to Mount Vernon a few days prior, stating that it was the first time he had visited the historical landmark in over 45 years. This trip marked Charles' 19th visit to the United States.

Donald J. Trump and King Charles had a surprisingly pleasant meeting

Although the first in-person meeting on record between King Charles and former U.S. president Donald J. Trump didn't happen until 2019, the two leaders have corresponded since at least 1995. First reported by The Telegraph, Charles sent a letter to Trump that year, in which he thanked the businessman for granting him membership to his elite club, Mar-A-Lago. Controversially, the letter will be included in a book titled "Letters to Trump" along with other letters the 45th president has previously received from many other public figures such as Vladimir Putin, Simon Cowell, and Princess Diana. It is said that Trump did not get permission from Charles to publish the private letter.

A passionate environmentalist, Charles agreed to meet with Trump for tea on June 3, 2019. Many expected the exchange between the prince and the former president to be riddled with disagreement due to the fact that Trump is an outspoken skeptic of climate change. But as reported by CNN, Trump told interviewer Piers Morgan that what was meant to be a 15-minute meeting turned into a lengthy, productive conversation. He said that Charles spoke very passionately about his hope to improve climate change for the sake of future generations. Trump stated that he agreed with Charles on that front, although by the end of the interview, he reinforced his skepticism by comparing the changing of the climate to the changing of the weather.

Joe Biden and King Charles III have a positive relationship

The first time Charles met Joe Biden was likely during the prince's visit with Obama in 2015 when Biden was still serving as the vice president of the United States. As pictured in a photo shared by The White House, both Joe Biden and Camilla, Queen Consort, who was the Duchess of Cornwall at the time, were present during the meeting between Charles and Obama. However, it's unclear how much Biden and Charles communicated with one another during this visit.

The next time Charles and Biden met was in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021. They both share a passion for environmental issues and were seen shaking hands at the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference (via People). During their encounter, the two of them spoke about the importance of taking action against climate issues and praised one another for their work in that area. The president was also pictured speaking with Prince William at the event's reception, smiling as he touched the prince's shoulder. Given their friendly history, it appears that the current United States president and the head of the Commonwealth have a very positive working relationship.