- No sitting U.S. president has ever attended the coronation of a British monarch. While President Joe Biden is not expected to attend the coronation of King Charles, he is sticking to precedent in doing so, by likely sending a delegation in his place.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower did not attend Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953, sending a delegation instead.
U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly will not be attending the coronation of British monarch King Charles in May 2023, according to news accounts. This news came with speculation that Biden was snubbing the royal family in an "extraordinary diplomatic insult."
Dan Wootton, a columnist at the Daily Mail tabloid, wrote, "Joe Biden apologists can come up with all the excuses they want, but snubbing King Charles' coronation shows he hates Britain, just like his pals Harry and Meghan."
While Biden is not expected to attend the coronation, this may not be an insult, as the above tweets are making it out to be. The news of his lack of attendance was confirmed by officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Washington Post. He reportedly will be sending a delegation in his place, much like the last president who was invited to a coronation: Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth.
In other words, Biden is considered to be sticking to precedent. Eisenhower also did not attend the 1953 coronation, sending instead special ambassadors George C. Marshall, Omar N. Bradley, Earl Warren, and Fleur F. Cowles.
And this tradition goes further back: Not a single sitting U.S. President has attended the coronation of a British monarch, according to the Washington Post.
Conservative British commentators have called this a "snub" to the monarchy, and the timing is perceived as awkward. In April 2023, Biden will be visiting Northern Ireland, a part of the U.K., as well as Ireland and is not expected to meet with Charles during this trip. However, insiders told The Telegraph that Biden's age was a big barrier to his attending, adding that foreign travel was difficult for him.
"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 [of Queen Elizabeth], and that's kind of enough," a source close to the administration said.
It is reported that first lady Jill Biden will be part of the U.S. delegation to the coronation. Biden did attend Queen Elizabeth's funeral in London in September 2022.
The White House has not yet formally announced plans for Biden's Ireland trip, nor has it officially confirmed the delegation for the coronation. We will update this post when we hear more.
While Biden may not attend Charles' coronation, it does not mean that this is a rejection or a snub. Biden appears to be following U.S. precedent.