Jilted Johnson: Biden in beeline for Macron and Carrie at G7

Object of PM’s political desire embraces French president behind his back, then leaves him to wait while he greets his wife

Most of us have been there. You’ve put in the legwork, been as charming as you can muster, and they seem to be into it. Then you turn around to see them in the arms of another.

Boris Johnson certainly has. The prime minister had an awkward moment, one that most teenagers could identify with, at Friday’s G7 summit photo call: Joe Biden, on whom he had expended a great deal of energy attempting to woo politically, warmly embraced his near neighbour – the French president, Emmanuel Macron – when his back was turned.

Biden and Macron share a joke together
A joking Biden and Macron. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Johnson, who had evoked the memory of the working relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt as he tried to align himself with the US president, offered Biden an elbow bump, and then stood between him and Macron for the socially distanced family photograph.

Biden, Johnson and Macron take their places for the G7 family photo
Biden, Johnson and Macron take their places for the G7 family photo. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

The prime minister then led the G7 leaders as they filed away, but broke his stride to turn and see his neighbour and the object of his political desires walking together in a physical embrace. Apparently shaken, he lingered somewhat awkwardly near the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, as he waited for Biden and Macron to catch up.

Macron does his best to make amends with Johnson
Macron does his best to make amends with Johnson. Photograph: Neil Hall/INTERNATIONAL POOL/EPA

Nor was it the first time in the day that Johnson had been in second place for the US president’s attention. Meeting the British prime minister and his wife earlier in the afternoon, Biden told him to “wait a minute” so he could approach Carrie Johnson first and was pictured with his hand quite low on her back.

Biden greets Symonds
Elbow bumps as Biden greets Carrie Johnson Photograph: Phil Noble/AP

Still, at least the world leaders no longer have to deal with a Trump-style 19-second pseudo-hardman handshake. It was Covid-secure elbow-bumps all round as they met for the photo call.

Contributor

Kevin Rawlinson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Johnson to urge Biden to keep US troops at Kabul airport after 31 August
PM’s request to be made at G7 summit as Taliban increases grip on access to flights

Dan Sabbagh, Peter Beaumont and Peter Walker

23, Aug, 2021 @3:58 AM

Article image
Boris Johnson prefers not to use term ‘special relationship’, says No 10
Spokesperson confirms PM not a fan of phrase recently used by Joe Biden to describe ties between UK and US

Peter Walker Political correspondent

07, Jun, 2021 @2:13 PM

Article image
G7’s Carbis Bay declaration: the key pledges
World leaders issue joint statement promising action on vaccines, China and global corporate tax

Patrick Wintour, Heather Stewart and Phillip Inman

13, Jun, 2021 @6:46 PM

Article image
Joe Biden to affirm “special relationship’ at G7 meeting with Boris Johnson
President also expected to discuss post-Brexit difficulties in Northern Ireland with the prime minister

Edna Mohamed

06, Jun, 2021 @11:54 PM

Article image
G7: Macron says US is back under Biden as leaders meet in Cornwall - as it happened
News from today’s meeting of leaders of the G7 industrialised countries in Cornwall to discuss vaccines, the pandemic recovery and the climate crisis

Nicola Slawson (now) and Sarah Marsh(earlier)

12, Jun, 2021 @3:44 PM

Article image
From climate to Covid rules: how Johnson and Biden match up
Analysis: the two leaders have found common ground in some areas, though dividing lines remain

Heather Stewart Political editor

21, Sep, 2021 @6:46 PM

Article image
G7 summit: Boris Johnson praises Joe Biden as ‘breath of fresh air’ after talks – as it happened
Latest updates: prime minister welcomes US president’s desire to work with UK on issues such as security and climate crisis

Andrew Sparrow

10, Jun, 2021 @6:01 PM

Article image
Boris Johnson plays down Brexit issues after G7 talks with Biden
PM calls US president a ‘breath of fresh air’ and strikes optimistic tone about Northern Ireland tensions

Heather Stewart , Peter Walker and Kim Willsher

10, Jun, 2021 @7:19 PM

Article image
All eyes on Carrie Johnson in first role as UK ‘first lady’ at G7 summit
Newly wed, at 33 she may be youngest spouse but her political nous should serve her well in keeping the plus-ones happy

Caroline Davies

01, Jun, 2021 @3:50 PM

Article image
US-UK to sign post-Covid Atlantic charter in echo of wartime accord
Johnson and Biden will meet at G7 to sign new version of 1941 document focusing on modern challenges

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

09, Jun, 2021 @9:30 PM