First Lady Jill Biden put her maternal instincts to diplomatic use on Thursday, when she spent some time playing on the beach with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie and their one-year-old son Wilfred.
The 70-year-old was seen laughing and joking with her British counterpart, 33, as the two women removed their footwear and dipped their toes in the ocean during a trip to Cornwall, with the First Lady putting on an elegant display in a black-and-white Brandon Maxwell dress and a black blazer with the world ‘LOVE’ emblazoned on the back.
Jill and her husband, President Joe Biden, met Boris, 56, and Carrie on a scenic balcony overlooking the beach, before the two women swapped their high heels for white flip flops in order to stroll along the sand with the Johnsons’ blonde-haired toddler – whose face was very carefully kept out of view in official images released by No. 10 Downing Street.
At one point, Jill removed her footwear altogether in order to dip her toes in the water alongside her British counterpart, with both women seen laughing and joking around together while Wilfred sat happily on the sand.
Jill, who shares an adult daughter, Ashley, with husband Joe, 78, is a seasoned expert when it comes to looking after young children; the first couple have seven grandchildren who range in age from one year old to 27.
Mom’s day out! First Lady Jill Biden put her maternal instincts to diplomatic use on Thursday when she spent time playing on the beach with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie and their one-year-old son Wilfred
Bright and breezy: Despite the gloomy day, Jill, 70, looked to be in excellent spirits as she enjoyed some time at a beach in Cornwall with Carrie, 33, and Wilfred
Style stars: Both women wore very formal ensembles for their beach outing, with Jill looking elegant in a custom-made black-and-white dress from Brandon Maxwell, which she wore with a black Zadig & Voltaire blazer
Meeting: Jill and her husband, President Joe Biden, met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife earlier in the day, enjoying a stroll along a path overlooking the beach
However Jill’s jovial rapport with Carrie failed to distract from her choice of outerwear, which drew clear comparisons with the controversial design worn by Melania, 51, in 2018.
The former First Lady faced bitter backlash after she was seen wearing a $39 khaki jacket, which had the words ‘I don’t really care, do u?’ splashed across the back in graffiti-style writing, during a trip to a migrant child detention center in McAllen, Texas.
Jill appeared to take a subtle swipe at Melania Trump by wearing a blazer emblazoned with the word LOVE – three years after her predecessor prompted outrage by donning a jacket that read ‘I really don’t care’ when visiting immigrant children in Texas.
In a sit-down interview with ABC’s 20/20, Melania insisted that her message had been misconstrued, telling Tom Llamas that the statement was meant ‘for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me.’
However, her outfit selection was lambasted as as being tone deaf, given the tense situation at the time; many of the children had been separated from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy towards illegal immigration.
Commenting on her own fashion choice for Thursday’s outing, Jill said: ‘We’re bringing love from America… This is a global conference, we’re trying to bring unity across the globe.’
She added: ‘I think it’s needed right now, that people feel a sense of unity from all the countries and feel a sense hope after this year of the pandemic.’
The First Lady, who paired her glamorous Brandon Maxwell Resort ’22 collection frock with a pair of matching black high heels, first wore her blazer, by French fashion house Zadig & Voltaire, in 2019.
Meanwhile, Melania’s now infamous jacket was first photographed as she boarded her plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 21, 2018, headed to Texas.
Comparisons: Biden appeared to take a swipe at Melania Trump by wearing a blazer with ‘LOVE’ written on the back in contrast to the ‘I don’t really care, do u?’ jacket her predecessor wore to visit immigrant children in 2018
Sending a message: The professor recycled the Zadig & Voltaire blazer, which she first wore in 2019, pairing the design with a black-and-white dress from Brandon Maxwell
Chic: Jill looked elegant in her ensemble, however her choice of blazer immediately sparked comparisons with her predecessor’s infamous ensemble
Speaking out: During her meeting in Cornwall, Jill said: ‘We’re bringing love from America… This is a global conference, we’re trying to bring unity across the globe’
Speaking about her controversial look five months after she wore it, Melania said: ‘I want to show the [left-wing media] that I don’t care. You could criticize whatever you want to say, but it will not stop me to do what I feel is right.’
‘It was kind of a message, yes,’ Melania added, contradicting the official White House word on the matter, from back in June, 2018. ‘I would prefer that they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives [rather] than what I wear.’
Prior to Jill and Carrie’s beach stroll with Wilfred – whose face was purposefully kept hidden in images released by No. 10 Downing Street – the two women met on a scenic deck overlooking St. Ives Bay alongside their husbands.
Jill was seen strolling hand-in-hand with Joe, as the two joined Carrie – who was dressed in a scarlet $535 LK Bennett dress and matching $70 Zara shoes – and Boris, who also held hands as they took in the stunning ocean views.
Jill briefly spoke with media after she finished having tea with Carrie, saying: ‘It’s really nice to be here in Cornwall. It’s my first time. Obviously it’s beautiful for those of you have been here before.’
She added: ‘Joe and I are really looking forward to meeting everyone at the G7.’
The First Lady also revealed she was looking forward to when Her Majesty would host the Bidens on Sunday, saying: ‘Well, we’re hoping to focus, I think, on education. Joe and I are both looking forward to meeting the Queen.
Melania wore her now-infamous design while boarding a plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 21, 2018, from where she was traveling to meet with immigrant children at a detention center
The Bidens and the Johnsons (pictured walking together) met on a scenic deck overlooking St Ives Bay, England, with a view of the Atlantic Ocean in front of them
Jill (pictured right) briefly spoke with media after she finished having tea with Carrie (pictured left), saying: ‘It’s really nice to be here in Cornwall. It’s my first time. Obviously it’s beautiful for those of you have been here before’
‘That’s an exciting part of the visit for us. We’ve looked forward to this for weeks and now it’s finally here. It’s a beautiful beginning.’
Ahead of the President and Prime Minister’s meeting today, officials tried to down play tensions amid a transatlantic row over Northern Ireland, emphasizing the special relationship between the two nations.
At the sit down, Biden recycled one of his favorite lines, saying the two men had something in common – both married above their station. Boris and Carrie Johnson wed on May 29.
The face-to-face greeting came after the White House backed down following a report Biden rebuked Johnson for ‘inflaming tensions’ in Northern Ireland.
The Times reported that Biden ordered US officials to give Johnson an extraordinary diplomatic rebuke for putting the Northern Ireland peace process at risk over Brexit negotiations with the European Union. Biden officials quickly denied the report ahead of the talks between the two leaders.
The First Lady, pictured alongside her husband Joe and the Johnsons, added: ‘Joe and I are really looking forward to meeting everyone at the G7’
Firm friends: The two women looked to be getting on famously as they took in the ocean view
Celebration: Jill posed alongside her British counterpart in front of a large sign for the G7 summit, which is due to start on June 11
Joking around: The First Lady laughed and joked with Carrie, before the two women went for a stroll on the beach