© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he attends the forty fifth Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala to kick-off the White Home’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, in Washington, U.S. September 15, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden and his spouse, Jill, headed to London on Saturday to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, departing Washington with none former U.S. presidents, who aren’t participating within the somber occasion.
The White Home mentioned earlier this week that the royal invitation to the funeral, which takes place on Monday at Westminster Abbey, was for the Bidens solely.
The queen died on Sept. 8 after a 70-year reign, sparking a grief and mourning throughout the UK and around the globe.
She had met a number of U.S. presidents, together with, in more moderen years, Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush. She met 13 of the final 14 American presidents, all besides Lyndon Johnson and beginning with Harry Truman in 1951 when she was nonetheless a princess.
The Bidens, who joined the queen for tea in June 2021, are because of arrive in London on Saturday night.
Biden will maintain a bilateral assembly with British Prime Minister Liz Truss on the United Nations Normal Meeting on Wednesday, reasonably than assembly in London on Sunday, her workplace mentioned on Saturday.
On Sunday the Bidens are scheduled to pay respects to the late sovereign, whose coffin is mendacity in Westminster Corridor. Afterwards they’ll signal an official condolence e book earlier than attending a reception hosted by King Charles.
The state funeral on Monday is to be attended by almost 100 presidents and heads of presidency.
Biden, 79, has mentioned the queen reminded him of his mom. The president is deeply accustomed to grief, having misplaced his grownup son to most cancers in 2015 and his spouse and younger daughter to a automobile accident many years in the past.
The president and his spouse will return to Washington on Monday after the funeral.