Jill Biden, the First Lady of the United States, attended King Charles’ Coronation ceremony on behalf of her husband Joe Biden, who had declined the invitation.
During the event, the First Lady was seated at the back of Westminster Abbey with her granddaughter Finnegan Biden, wearing yellow and blue outfits.
While some noted that their placement was far from the center of proceedings, Jean-Pierre highlighted that Biden and Charles had spoken for around 30 minutes the day before the ceremony.
Biden’s decision sparked controversy among Conservative MPs, but White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that it was not a snub and that the President had a good relationship with the King.
Despite the criticism, Biden’s absence from the Coronation follows precedent as no US President has attended a British monarch’s Coronation, with Dwight Eisenhower also declining to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s ceremony in 1953. White House officials have sought to downplay any concerns that his non-attendance could damage the “special relationship,” emphasizing the strength of Biden’s relationship with the King.
Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, however, criticized Biden for not attending the coronation ceremony.
“It seems pretty remiss, and I’m tempted to say more fool him for not coming,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you would have thought he should come because he’s a head of state.”
“If I was the President of the United States, I would come to the Coronation of the King of England – there’s no two ways about it. It just seems to be a foolish decision.”
Former President Donald Trump criticized current President Joe Biden, accusing him of “greatly insulting” the British people by not attending the Coronation.
Trump praised the British monarchy, calling the King and Queen “wonderful,” and expressed his belief that the US President should have been in attendance.
He wrote on Truth Social: “Joe Biden should have been at the Coronation of King Charles III. Is that really so much to ask? The people of the UK are greatly insulted.
“No wonder we are losing support all over the World. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!”
The former president added: “Good Luck and Best Wishes to the wonderful new King and Queen of The United Kingdom. You are two very Special People. May your Reign be a Long and Glorious One. GOD BLESS YOU BOTH!!!”
Earlier this week, Trump, speaking in Scotland, told GB News: “Certainly, he should be here as our representative of our country. I was very surprised. I think it’s very disrespectful for him not to be here.”
The White House recently confirmed that First Lady Jill Biden would head the US delegation to the Coronation, following President Joe Biden’s decision not to attend the event. The 80-year-old president made a prolonged trip to Ireland last month to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and visit family members.
Although some have raised concerns that Biden’s absence from the Coronation could damage the “special relationship” between the US and the UK, White House officials have downplayed these suggestions. They have emphasized the strength of Biden’s relationship with the King and pointed out that former President Dwight Eisenhower did not attend Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation.
Nile Gardiner, former Foreign Policy adviser to the late former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, excoriated Biden for missing the seminal coronation event.
“Leaders from across the world are attending today’s Coronation of King Charles III,” Gardiner said. “Even the French President is there. Notably absent is Joe Biden, who could not be bothered. What message does this send to America’s closest ally? Biden is a petty, arrogant, sneering disgrace.”
Former President Donald Trump, who once boasted he had “great chemistry” with the late Queen Elizabeth II, earlier blasted the sitting president for skipping out on the coronation ceremony.
“Crooked Joe Biden will not attend The King Charles’ Coronation,” Trump said. “The United Kingdom is not happy. Biden wants to sleep!”
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