The White House insisted on Wednesday that President Joe Biden had not snubbed King Charles III by skipping his coronation and sending First Lady Jill Biden in his place.
‘This is not disrespectful.’ Asked by DailyMail.com, White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said the president has a good relationship with the monarch.
She noted that the president and the king spoke for 30 minutes on Tuesday and that Charles invited Biden to pay a state visit to the United Kingdom.
DailyMail.com exclusively reported that the call went through and that the president told King he would send his wife to the historic event rather than make the trip himself.
“During that call, the king offered him to come and pay a state visit, which the president accepted, and so they will see each other again very soon,” said Jean-Pierre.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden met briefly with King Charles when he gave a reception for world leaders at Buckingham Palace after Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
She did not have a date for that visit and did not say whether Biden will sit with the monarch when he is in the UK later this month, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement during a stopover in Belfast.
Jean-Pierre has confirmed several times that the two leaders have a good relationship, noting their common interest in climate issues.
Both American and British officials indicated that no American president attended a coronation ceremony. President Dwight Eisenhower did not attend Queen Elizabeth’s visit, but it was in 1953 when it was more difficult and time-consuming to travel abroad. Biden, with his private 747, could make it to London in a day and back.
The First Lady will lead the US delegation to the May 6 coronation ceremony.
“The First Lady will represent the United States very well and we are proud that she will represent the United States at the coronation,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.
There is a precedent here for the president not to attend, and President Eisenhower did not attend Queen Elizabeth’s coronation either. The call yesterday was very cordial between the King and the President. And the King was very gracious and grateful for the First Lady’s presence
White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said that President Biden did not ignore the British by not attending the coronation of King Charles.
US and British officials point out that President Dwight Eisenhower did not attend Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, but that was in 1953 when overseas travel was more complicated and time consuming.
The timing of the event is sensitive.
The coronation takes place shortly after Biden’s trip to Northern Ireland and the Republic. He will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 11th to 12th April and will be traveling to the Republic of Ireland from 12th to 14th April.
The president is very proud of his Irish roots and talks about them often. He is not afraid to speak his mind on Irish affairs and has been outspoken in his support for protecting the Good Friday Agreement while Britain negotiated Brexit trade rules with the EU.
The administration insisted that London honor the Northern Ireland Protocol, an agreement with the European Union that delineates a customs boundary in the Irish Sea between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland.
Loyalists complained that the Protocol brought Northern Ireland closer to the neighboring Republic of Ireland. There are Protestant suspicions that the Catholic Biden would prefer a united Ireland, but the president has not publicly stated his support for such a move.
The White House has not announced Biden’s trip to Ireland, but British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak formally invited the president to attend when he met him in San Diego last month. Before Biden.
Sunak helped negotiate the Windsor Framework, which settled the trade dispute and helped pave the way for Biden’s visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic.
President Joe Biden often talks about his Irish roots – above kissing a bouquet of shamrocks from Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on St. Patrick’s Day
President Joe Biden met Charles, then Prince of Wales, in November 2021 at the COP26 summit in Scotland
During his trip to Ireland, Biden will mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended 30 years of sectarian violence between pro-Irish Catholics and pro-British Protestants.
He is also expected to visit his family members – distant artist cousins - who live in Counties Louth and Mayo.
But the president’s time there is expected to be ahead of the official Good Friday Convention celebration that will feature King Charles, Sunak, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He then helped President Bill Clinton negotiate the agreement.
Biden has not met King Charles since he acceded to the throne and does not expect to meet him while in Ireland.
But Biden met Charles when he was Prince of Wales.
The two men had a one-on-one meeting at the COP26 Climate Summit in Scotland in October 2021. Both are concerned about environmental issues.
Charles, as monarch, is above politics, but he is head of state and plays an important role in the special and essential relationship that the United States and the United Kingdom share.
But many heads of state, including those of France, Spain, Ireland, Japan and Monaco, will be present for Charles’ coronation.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden meet Queen Elizabeth at the G7 summit in Cornwall in 2021
Jill Biden and Joe Biden attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September 2022
Prince William and Princess Catherine are expected to play a major role and their three children – George, Charlotte and Louis – are expected to attend at least parts of the lavish coronation ceremony.
It remains unclear whether Harry and Meghan will attend amid strained relations with the royal family.
But Charles is planning a cut-back ceremony to officially take the throne, knocking thousands off the checklist compared to the roughly 8,000 people who attended his mother’s coronation in 1953.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will crown each of King Charles’s consort, Queen Camilla.
It is expected to last about an hour, compared to Queen Elizabeth II’s, which lasted nearly three hours.
However, England will have a three-day weekend and there will be multiple public festivities, including parades, street parties and picnics, to mark the occasion.
Charles officially became king after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September last year.
Both Bidens attended the Queen’s funeral. During that time, they had a brief meeting with Charles during a reception for world leaders at Buckingham Palace.