Biden formally accepts invite to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

Mr Biden says he will attend what will be the largest British state funeral in years

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Sunday 11 September 2022 19:18 BST
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The White House has announced that President Joe Biden will attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch who passed away at age 96 on Thursday.

“This morning, President Biden formally accepted an invitation to attend the State Funeral Service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on September 19. He will be accompanied by the First Lady,” the White House said on Sunday.

On Friday, Mr Biden told reporters he would travel to London for the late Queen’s funeral. He was travelling at the time to Ohio, where he delivered remarks on a future semiconductor manufacturing facility being built with federal funding.

Upon being asked whether he would participate by attending what is expected to be the largest state funeral put on by the British government in more than a decade, Mr Biden replied: “Yes”.

“I don’t know what the details are yet but I’ll be going,” he added. Over the weekend, it was announced that the Queen’s funeral would be held on Monday 19 September.

Mr Biden’s confirmation of plans to attend the funeral of the late Queen comes just under a day after Buckingham Palace announced that the monarch had passed “peacefully” at Balmoral, her longtime home in Scotland.

In a statement, Mr Biden hailed her as “more than a monarch” and a leader who “defined an era”.

He also credited her with being “a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States”.

“She helped make our relationship special,” he said.

Mr Biden met with Her Majesty twice in his capacity as the 46th president of the United States during his June 2021 visit to the UK: Once at a reception held during the G7 summit in Cornwall and during a visit to Windsor Castle the next day for tea at the Queen’s invitation.

But those two meetings were not the first time Mr Biden crossed paths with the Queen. According to a White House review of Mr Biden’s Senate records, the future president’s first encounter with Her Majesty came nearly four decades earlier. As a senator from Delaware, he travelled to the UK for a meeting of the British-American Parliamentary Group.

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