White House aide President Joe Biden travel to London to attend Funeral of Queen Elizabeth IIbut plans to announce his attendance only after the palace has clarified the arrangements, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The president is likely to be accompanied by an official delegation. Biden remembered the Queen on Thursday As a “great woman” who “created an era”.
“I’m so happy to see her,” Mr Biden said after signing a condolence dictionary at the British Embassy in Washington.
American flags on the White House, other federal buildings, military installations, and embassies abroad remained at half-staff on Friday after Biden ordered them to be taken down “until the day of internment.”
In a statement released jointly with his wife, Mrs Jill Biden, the president called the Queen “a stable presence for generations of Britons, including many who never knew their country without her. and a source of comfort and pride.”
As a young Senator, Biden met the Queen in 1982. They reunited last year when she made the trip to her G7 summit in Cornwall.
Later, she hosted the Bidens for tea at Windsor Castle, where she asked the president about Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian Vladimir Putintwo authoritarians who created tensions through military aggression.
Biden has since been enthused when describing their interaction.
“I don’t think she was insulted, but it reminded me of my mother’s good looks and generosity,” Mr. Biden said. “She’s very nice. It’s not surprising, but we had a great talk.”
The White House has refused to expand plans for Biden to attend the Queen’s funeral, which is scheduled in the coming weeks.
Spokesperson Carine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, “There’s a process here, there’s a protocol, there’s an official protocol where leaders are invited, so we’re going to get ahead of that protocol. I don’t intend to,” he said.
Pressed again, she reiterated that the White House would follow protocol, but added that the Queen’s loss “will be felt by people all over the world”, calling her a “steady presence”.
“Our country and people have strong ties and I think I speak for the country when I say our thoughts are with the British people,” said Jean-Pierre.
At previous high-profile funerals, official U.S. delegations have included both incumbent and former U.S. presidents. When Pope John his Paul II died, President George W. Bush was present with his father George HW his President Bush and his former President Bill Clinton.
President Barack Obama included George W. Bush, Clinton and former President Jimmy Carter in an official delegation to Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Bush, along with Hillary Clinton, traveled to South Africa aboard his Air Force One.
The last time a British monarch died, no US president attended the funeral. President Harry S. Truman sent Secretary of State Dean Acheson to attend the funeral of King George VI in 1952.