President Joe Biden will reportedly not attend the coronation of King Charles III next month, in a potentially significant snub to the ‘special relationship’ between America and Britain.
President Biden, 80, is “not expected” to be among the dozens of heads of state to attend the official coronation ceremony for King Charles on May 6th at Westminster Abbey in London.
Washington insiders, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, noted that Biden will be travelling to Northern Ireland this month to attend the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday peace agreement and that due to his age, it is unlikely to cross the pond again less than a month later.
Pointing to the president’s advanced age, a source described as close to the Biden administration told the British broadsheet that “foreign travel takes a fair amount out of him”.
“They try to restrict it to the essentials, and they may just think twice about crossing the Atlantic twice in quick succession. They may think that he came to the funeral, and that’s kind of enough.”
Britain’s ambassador to the United States, Dame Karen Pierce, as well as Buckingham Palace aides, have also reportedly been told by the White House that Biden has “other commitments”. However, other sources have noted that discussions are still continuing in the hopes of changing the president’s mind.
Others said that Biden’s relationship with the King is “strong” and that the two may meet when the president travels to Northern Ireland.
In order to downplay the idea that the Democrat administration is snubbing the British Royal Family, the president is said to be considering sending a delegation to the coronation in his stead, which reportedly might include First Lady Jill Biden.
While an official announcement as to Biden’s plans have yet to be released from the White House, UK commentators have already begun to blast the president for the “snub”.
GB News presenter Dan Wootton said: “Biden planning to snub the coronation of King Charles III tells you everything you need to know about how one of the worst presidents in modern history feels about the United Kingdom. Shame on him.”
Meanwhile, English columnist Benedict Spence joked: “Brits should see Biden turning down an invitation to King Charles’ coronation not as a snub but as the generous gift it is. We could do without him forgetting himself on the biggest stage and asking the monarch or prince or Wales how their mothers are.”
Conservative politicians have also expressed their disappointment in the expected snub, including MP Bob Seely, who said: “It seems pretty remiss, and I’m tempted to say more fool him for not coming… 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.”
Should Biden skip the coronation, it would not be without historical precedence, however, given that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower declined to attend the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Instead, Ike sent a delegation, including celebrated World War II military leader George C. Marshall and then-governor of California Earl Warren, who would go on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
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