King Charles and Camilla wave to crowds from balcony in Hamburg
US President Joe Biden will not attend the Coronation of King Charles in May, it has been reported. The Telegraph quotes sources close to the discussions who say Mr Biden is “not expected” to make the trip to the UK. Eager to prevent any perception that this is a snub from Mr Biden, First Lady Jill Biden could be sent to attend the Coronation instead.
Heads of state from countries including Ireland, France, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Hungary and Monaco are all expected to attend the event.
All three presidents from the EU – Ursula von der Leyen, Roberta Metsola and Charles Michel – will also attend.
The news comes as King Charles and Queen Camilla make their first state visit to Germany. Their trip to France was cancelled due to widespread protests in France.
Dame Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the US, has reportedly has “cordial” talks with the US. It is believed Mr Biden has other commitments.
Bob Seely, a Conservative MP on the foreign affairs select committee, has hit out at the White House.
He said: “It seems pretty remiss, and I’m tempted to say more fool him for not coming,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you would have thought he should come because he’s a head of state.
“If I was the President of the United States, I would come to the Coronation of the King of England – there’s no two ways about it. It just seems to be a foolish decision.”
Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the defence select committee, defended the President’s decision.
He said: “Whilst we’d hope Joe Biden would be invited, there is no historical protocol for a US president to attend royal coronations, so we should not read too much into any absence. America will be represented, and it will be telling who the president chooses to send.”
One source also told the Telegraph that there “may still be some efforts under way to see if Biden can be persuaded to come to the Coronation”, while another said his plan to decline was “not locked and loaded” and remained “technically in play”.
Another source said Mr Biden’s age make means “foreign travel takes a fair amount out of him.”
They continued: “They try to restrict it to the essentials, and they may just think twice about crossing the Atlantic twice in quick succession. They may think that he came to the funeral, and that’s kind of enough.”
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