Joe Biden’s mother despised England so much she once chose to sleep on the floor rather than use a bed the late Queen had slept in.
Catherine Finnegan, known as Jean, and other members of the President’s maternal side of the family were particularly proud of their Irish origins – a trait Biden himself has boasted about on several occasions over the years.
But Mrs. Biden’s background also inspired a certain animosity toward the English and she reportedly ensured to make her position on England and the Royal Family very clear.
The President himself once recalled his mother had even refused to sleep in a bed at a hotel after being informed it had previously been used by Queen Elizabeth II.
Author Georgia Pritchett recalled in her Biden biography that the President once admitted Jean “hated the English” and had written several poems about it.
During a meeting at the White House, Biden went to find the poems to share some extracts with a visiting British screenwriter.
Pritchett continued: “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.”
The President’s late mother also made him promise he would “not bow” to the Queen before he met her while still serving as a Senator in 1982.
In a 2013 speech, Biden said he was sent into the meeting with firm instructions: “Joey, be polite but do not kiss her ring. Swear to God.”
And he wrote in his autobiography Promises to Keep: “When I told my mother I was going to have an audience with the Queen of England, the first thing she said was: ‘Don’t you bow down to her.’
“‘Remember Joey,’ she’d say, ‘you’re a Biden. Nobody is better than you. You’re not better than anybody else, but nobody is any better than you.'”
And Biden appeared to keep his promise to his mother as he did not bow to the Queen when he met her again for the first time since his inauguration in June 2021.
But despite Jean’s stance on the Royal Family, Biden admitted during his visit that the late Queen reminded him of his mother.
He said: “I don’t think [the Queen] would be insulted but she reminded me of my mother, the look of her and just the generosity.”
And he last year paid his tribute to Elizabeth II after her death, describing her as a “source of comfort and pride for generations”.
He said: “Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special.
“We first met the Queen in 1982, traveling to the UK as part of a Senate delegation.
“And we were honored that she extended her hospitality to us in June 2021 during our first overseas trip as President and First Lady, where she charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom.”