Washington: US President Joe Biden on Friday announced to attend the funeral of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II who died on Thursday aged 96.
Biden, on being asked by the reporters whether he planned to attend the funeral, said “Yes. I don’t know what the details are yet, but I will be going.” The president was asked before boarding Air Force One in Columbus, Ohio, CNN reported.
The US President said that he has not yet spoken to King Charles. “I know him. I haven’t spoken to him,” Biden said. “I did not call him yet.”
According reports, the White House aides had begun making initial preparations for Biden to travel to London to attend the Queen’s funeral. They had only planned to announce his attendance after the palace reveals the arrangements, according to people familiar with the matter.
The President will likely be accompanied by an official delegation. Biden remembered the Queen on Thursday as a “great lady” who “defined an era.”
On Friday, Biden with First Lady Jill Biden signed a condolence book at the British Embassy in Washington after the death of British Queen Elizabeth II.
“We mourn for all of you. She was a great lady, I’m so delighted I got to meet her,” Biden said.
“Our hearts are with you,” the First Lady said. Biden thanked the staff and said, “As my mother would say, God, loves you.”
Mourning the death of the Queen, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said in a statement, “We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are not only mourning their Queen, but their dear mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world.”
Biden said that in a world of constant change, Queen was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her.
US President and First lady further said that Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example, supported by her beloved Prince Philip for 73 years.
Biden called Elizabeth II a “stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy” who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.
He said that Queen helped make the relationship between the countries special.
“We first met the Queen in 1982, travelling to the UK as part of a Senate delegation. And we were honoured that she extended her hospitality to us in June 2021 during our first overseas trip as President and First Lady, where she charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom. All told, she met 14 American presidents,” they wrote.
“She helped Americans commemorate both the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown and the bicentennial of our independence. And she stood in solidarity with the United States during our darkest days after 9/11, when she poignantly reminded us that “Grief is the price we pay for love,” the statement further added.
Born on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London, Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-serving monarch of the UK.
She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York – who later became King George VI – and Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth II, died peacefully at Balmoral castle aged 96, the royal family said in a statement. The UK’s longest-reigning monarch was placed under medical supervision earlier on Thursday after her condition deteriorated.
King Charles III acceded to the throne immediately following the death of Elizabeth II on Thursday. He described losing his mother as “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”.