Bidens arrive at Queen’s funeral after paying tribute to ‘special’ relationship

US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill have arrived for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London to commemorate the “special relationship” with the late monarch.

President Biden is one of many heads of state from around the world attending the service for Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

The Queen died on September 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, aged 96, just months after celebrating her platinum jubilee on her 70th throne jubilee.

Bidens arrive at Westminster Abbey
US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill at Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey, London, on September 19, 2022. The American leader paid tribute to the “special relationship” he had with the late monarch.
Getty Images

The Bidens looked serious as they entered the abbey holding hands. The First Lady wore a black Chanel-inspired pencil skirt suit with a matching fascinator, and the President chose a black suit with a black tie and a white pocket square in his jacket pocket.

Upon arrival in London, the President and his wife visited the Queen’s coffin as she rested in Westminster Hall. They had also signed the official book of condolence before attending an event at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III on Sunday night.

President Biden was one of the few world leaders to arrive in his own transport after funeral organizers said heads of state must travel together on the bus for security reasons.

He traveled to Westminster Abbey in an armored vehicle called “The Beast,” but ran into trouble on the way to the funeral.

Traffic came to a standstill in London and the President’s motorcade got stuck near Marble Arch.

President Biden waved to onlookers who had lined the streets as The Beast slowly crawled through the English capital.

Biden was the last sitting US President during Elizabeth’s reign, and she met her first President, Harry S. Truman, when she was still a princess.

biden jill joe funeral
US President Joe Biden and the First Lady held hands as they entered Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral. The Americans arrived in their own armored car known as The Beast.
Geoff Pugh/Getty Images Europe

The Queen managed to meet all 13 of the 14 Presidents during her reign, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson, who was in the White House from 1963 to 1969.

After signing the book of condolences at Lancaster House, President Biden described the Queen as “honest” and “decent”.

“To all the people of England, to all the people of the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you,” Biden said.

“You were lucky enough to have her for 70 years. We all were. The world is better for them.”

Biden also told the Queen’s successor, King Charles III, that his mother’s “dignity and permanence deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”

The Bidens have longstanding relationships with many members of the royal family.

President Biden first met the Queen while he was still a Senator in 1982, and in June 2021 Elizabeth met him for the first time since his tenure as President and welcomed him and his wife to Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England.

“I don’t think she would be offended, but she reminded me of my mother, her looks and just her generosity,” the president told media after the visit.

“She’s extremely lovely, which isn’t surprising, but we had a great chat.”

During that June 2021 visit, the Bidens also met with then-Prince Charles, his wife Camilla and his eldest son, Prince William, at a G7 reception.

The first lady also got some time with Catherine, Princess of Wales when they visited Connor Downs Academy preschool in Hayle, England, to speak with early childhood educators.

“It’s a great honor to have you in the UK,” Catherine said to Dr. Biden, the first lady who was a homeroom teacher and university professor. “I’m really looking forward to the interview.”

Jill Biden and Prince Harry
Prince Harry and Jill Biden watch wheelchair basketball at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Park September 13, 2014 in London. The Bidens described the “special relationship” they had with the late Queen. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images).
Getty Images

The First Lady also has a great relationship with Prince Harry and they have worked together many times, including at the Warrior Games in 2013.

The event sees injured US military veterans competing in track and field as a way to support them, their families and caregivers.

Harry has directed the international equivalent, the Invictus Games, a project dear to his heart that was inspired by the Warrior Games.

dr Biden traveled to the inaugural Invictus Games in London in 2014 as Second Lady during Biden’s tenure as Vice President under Barack Obama.

She also attended the 2016 and 2017 games, prompting Biden to open up about the close relationship with the Duke of Sussex.

“I read the Guardianor one of [the newspapers], and it says, paraphrasing, “Everywhere Prince Harry went, he had this blonde woman on his arm.” The Vice President’s wife! I’m a little worried here, you know what I mean?” President Biden said at the time.

The 2020 Invictus Games was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a virtual event was held where Dr. Biden attended. “You live by a simple principle: ‘Serve together, recover together,'” she told Prince Harry.

“It’s a philosophy not limited by the flag you wave…You’ve put your time, talents and heart into nurturing service members from around the world.

“In fact, it’s hard to believe that seven years have passed since the first Invictus Games in London,” said Dr. biden “The memories of that are still fresh in my mind. Every race and game more exciting than the last.” Bidens arrive at Queen’s funeral after paying tribute to ‘special’ relationship

Rick Schindler

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