HAYLE, England (AP) — Jill Biden
, the first lady
of the United States
, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge
, learned about bunny care Friday while touring a preschool during a joint outing in southwest England
They also took part in a discussion about early childhood education
with experts from the United Kingdom
and the United States, who participated via Zoom
“It’s a huge honor to have you here in the United Kingdom,” the duchess said just before the discussion, thanking Biden — a longtime English teacher — for her interest in early education, which is also a topic of interest for the duchess, who has three young children
with husband Prince William
Biden, 70, and the former Kate Middleton
, 39, paid a visit to 4- and 5-year-olds at Hayle's Connor Downs Academy, which works with traumatized children and has outdoor classrooms where children plant vegetables and flowers and care for rabbits.
When the women
went outside to see Storm, one of several bunnies housed in pens, Biden carried a bowl of carrots and handed it to a group of children who fed him.
Biden expressed her pleasure at visiting the school before the indoor roundtable.
“I met some wonderful teachers and principals, and most importantly, the children, who were so inspiring
and well behaved,” the first lady said.
She is accompanying her husband, President Joe Biden
, who is in Carbis Bay for the Group of Seven summit of the world's largest economies, which began Friday.
She thanked the media
for covering the event, saying that “early childhood education is so important in laying the foundation for all of our students.”
During the discussion, both women took notes on child mental health
and the importance of early childhood education in child development.
As they were leaving, reporters asked Biden if she had sought advice from the duchess about meeting Queen Elizabeth II
, which the Bidens plan to do at a summit reception later Friday, followed by tea with the monarch on Sunday at Windsor Castle.
“No, I didn’t,” the first lady responded, “we’ve been busy. Were you not in that room, we were talking about education.”
After meeting the queen, Jill Biden will return to Washington
, while the president will travel to Brussels for a NATO summit and to Switzerland for a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin