Inside Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With The Bushes

Queen Elizabeth II has seen a number of presidents throughout her reign, spanning almost seventy years. When she became Queen of England in 1952, Harry Truman was president, followed by Dwight Eisenhower when she had her official coronation a year later (via CNN). Altogether, the U.S. have had 14 different presidents throughout her reign – up to current President Joe Biden.

Of course, two of these presidents were from the same family. George H. W. Bush was president from 1989 to 1993, and his son George W. Bush became president eight years later, remaining president until Barack Obama took on the role in 2009, (via USA Today). As a result, Her Majesty has had the chance to get to know the Bush family well, like she has many international leaders over the years.

Here, we go inside the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and her family, and the Bushes, from Bush Sr. to his wife Barbara, and their children.

Queen Elizabeth and George H. W. Bush looked like "old friends"

According to Fox News, Queen Elizabeth and George H. W. Bush had a particularly close relationship. This is perhaps unsurprising, as they're both of the same generation, coming of age during the Second World War, and had children of similar ages too – indeed, George W. Bush, (via ABC), is just two years older than Prince Charles, Her Majesty's first child, (via BBC).

Royal experts described the pair as looking like "old friends" when together, and the queen paid tribute to Bush after his death in 2018, describing him as a "great friend and ally of the United Kingdom ... Prince Philip and I remember our days in Texas in 1991 with great fondness."

The two families were first introduced in 1989 when the Bushes traveled to London, before Her Majesty visited them in Washington two years later. Per the Daily Mail, there was one situation during the visit to Washington in 1991 when the Queen and Prince Philip really became firm friends with the Bushes: "After President Bush's formal welcome, he invited the Queen to the lectern. Given the difference in height between the two leaders, he was supposed to press a pedal and raise the dais for her. But he forgot. As a result, the queen was all but invisible." 

Her Majesty befriended George W. Bush too

Even after George H. W. Bush's presidency, the Queen remained friends with him. On the subject of a visit to the U.S. in 2007, during George W. Bush's presidency, the former British ambassador to the United States, Sir David Manning, described Her Majesty as "very comfortable with Bush 41," with the former president and his wife being very much involved in proceedings, even stepping in as hosts during the visit to Washington's World War II memorial (via Fox News). 

However, it wasn't just the patriarch of the family that she got on famously with. Her Majesty being "struck" by Bush Jr.'s cowboy boots, and later asking him if he was the black sheep of the family. Meanwhile, after George H. W. Bush's death in 2018, Prince Charles was in Washington to pay his respects on behalf of his family (via Spectator), continuing a tradition of mutual respect between the two families.