The British authorities invited solely President Biden and first woman Jill Biden to characterize America at Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, the White Home confirmed Monday — as a brand new report indicated the primary couple might need to take a bus to Westminster Abbey.
The restricted invite to Britain’s strongest ally and prime buying and selling accomplice was confirmed by press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre throughout a gaggle on Air Power One.
“The invitation [that] was prolonged to the US authorities was for the president and the primary woman solely,” Jean-Pierre stated, confirming stories that Biden had been requested to not assemble a extra high-powered American delegation.
“So far as invitations, I’d refer you to the UK, their authorities on that protocol typically,” Jean-Pierre stated en path to Boston.
The press secretary declined to remark when a reporter requested if Biden would search to deliver alongside former US presidents if provided extra spots on the church.
“Once more, this can be a determination that’s made for the UK authorities. They resolve who will get invited,” she stated. “Once more, the invite was for the president and the primary woman solely. It’s for them to maneuver to resolve on how they’re going to proceed with invitations and so they have.”
Westminster Abbey can match 2,200 people and is predicted to host one of many largest gatherings of heads of state in reminiscence Sept. 19 to pay respects to the 96-year-old monarch, who died Sept. 8 at her Balmoral residence in Scotland.
“The invitation for the president and first woman got here within the type of a word… It was acquired late Saturday night time. And as you all know, the president accepted the invitation on Sunday morning,” she stated.
In response to a report from Politico Europe, visiting world leaders will probably be “bussed in en masse [to Westminster Abbey] from a website in west London,” based on planning paperwork. The Guardian newspaper reported in 2017 that non-royal world leaders could be put up on the five-star Claridge’s resort for the queen’s funeral, nevertheless it was unclear if these plans nonetheless held.
The optics of placing the chief of the free world onto a bus with different heads of presidency as an alternative of permitting a proper motorcade have prompted concern with one week to go earlier than the occasion.
An unnamed London-based ambassador advised Politico: “Are you able to think about Joe Biden on the bus?”
The White Home didn’t reply to The Put up’s request for touch upon the reported preparations. Particular Agent Steve Kopek, a Secret Service spokesman, additionally declined to touch upon the potential bus tour.
“The USA Secret Service is the worldwide chief in protecting operations and we work each day with our regulation enforcement and army companions in the UK and world wide,” Kopek stated. “To keep up the operational integrity of our work, we’re unable to remark particularly regarding the means, strategies or assets used to conduct our protecting operations or actions.”
It’s unclear who inside the British authorities determined upon both the sparing invitation or the weird transportation scheme.
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Biden has not spoken with King Charles III since he took the throne final week. The US president rubbed shoulders with the then-Prince of Wales final 12 months throughout a go to to a local weather change convention in Glasgow. The assembly made headlines when Charles’ spouse, Queen Consort Camilla, reportedly complained about Biden’s flatulence at a reception.
“It was lengthy and loud and not possible to disregard,” a supply advised The Each day Mail on the time. “Camilla hasn’t stopped speaking about it.”