The Queen and Prince Charles among royals to arrive at Eden Project for glittering G7 reception

T

he Queen arrived at the Eden Project in Cornwall to welcome world leaders at a glittering G7 reception.

She was accompanied by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their first joint engagement since the pandemic began.

Their presence is part of the government’s attempts to maximise the royal family’s powers of soft diplomacy on US President Joe Biden and other powerful world leaders.

The queen with world leaders at The Eden Project

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The queen with world leaders at The Eden Project

/ POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie – wearing a floral dress from The Vampire’s Wife – arrived at the Eden Project before the royal family and were there to welcome the Queen after she entered the popular tourist attraction at about 6.30pm.

The Queen walked just ahead of Charles and Camilla and they were followed a few paces behind by William and Kate.

Kate wore a mid-length, £3,000 cream gown by Alexander McQueen while Camilla opted for a long sleeve black and white frock.

The Queen wore a dress patterned with flowers.

After a brief exchange of words between Mr Johnson and the Queen, she led the way into the reception and was followed by the senior royals.

Mr and Mrs Johnson welcomed the Queen at the Eden Project

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Mr and Mrs Johnson welcomed the Queen at the Eden Project

/ POOL/AFP via Getty Images

German leader Angela Merkel, Canadian leader Justin Trudeau, Italy’s Mario Draghi, France’s Emanuel Macron and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attended the reception.

After the 40-minute reception, they moved to an area to take a socially distanced group photo, and after taking their seats and posing for a few moments, the Queen said: “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?”

The Royal Family arrive

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The Royal Family arrive

/ PA

The leaders around the Queen laughed and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said emphatically “yes”.

Mr Johnson added: “We have been enjoying ourselves – in spite of appearances.”

Mrs Merkel walked over to the Queen and thanked her for posing for the picture, saying: “Thank you for doing that for us.”

The Queen speaks to guestsat the Eden Project

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The Queen speaks to guestsat the Eden Project

/ POOL/AFP via Getty Images

After taking a picture with world leaders, the Queen, joined by Camilla and Kate, attended a celebration of The Big Lunch initiative, which brings together communities involving food and drink.

Meanwhile Charles, joined by Prince William, will host a reception for the leaders and chief executive officers from some of the world’s largest companies to discuss how the private sector can work with governments to tackle the climate emergency.

The menu has been created by Emily Scott of the Watergate Bay Hotel in Newquay. Cornish turbot and new potatoes for the main course, is reported to be on the menu.

Addressing a reporters on Friday, Boris Johnson said the G7 must learn from the mistakes of the pandemic as he predicted the leading economies would “bounce back” from the Covid-19 recession.

The Queen mingles with attendees

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The Queen mingles with attendees

/ AP

The Prime Minister said: “We need to make sure that we learn the lessons from the pandemic, we need to make sure that we don’t repeat some of the errors that we doubtless made in the course of the last 18 months or so.”

“But it is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession of 2008, when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.”

There was a risk the pandemic could leave a “lasting scar” as “inequalities may be entrenched”, Mr Johnson said.

“We need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies and we build back better,” he added.

The Prime Minister also suggested the recovery should be a “gender neutral” or “more feminine” one – a reference to a commitment to spend £430 million on education, especially for girls, in some of the world’s poorest nations.

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