US President Joe Biden will be prominent among several high-profile heads of state who are likely to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the White House confirmed on Friday.
Biden is not the only major figure who may be expected to attend the funeral of the Queen.
Foreign heads of state and government, including other European monarchs, presidents and prime ministers, are almost certain to join the mourners in the United Kingdom.
The 96-year-old queen died at her home in Balmoral, Scotland, on Thursday as close family members rushed to be with her, including her grandson Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, offered their condolences on the Queen’s demise in a lengthy statement issued on Thursday.
“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special,” the Bidens said.
“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,” the statement went on.
The late Queen’s son, now King Charles III, has declared a period of royal mourning that will last until seven days after his mother’s funeral. Details of the funeral are expected to be announced soon. Operation London Birdge has already been set in motion, and a set of elaborate protocols will be observed until the Queen’s funeral, seven days hence.
Biden also issued an order on Thursday that flags at the White House and other federal government buildings should fly at half-staff until the Queen’s funeral, according to media reports.
The Bidens had met Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle in June 2021, just a few months after Joe Biden became the President. It was his first foreign trip as commander-in-chief.
Buckingham Palace issued a statement on Friday about the procedures for royal mourning and explained what the public can expect in the coming days.
“Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, it is His Majesty the King’s wish that a period of royal mourning be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s funeral. The date of the funeral will be confirmed in due course,” the statement said.
The new king is travelling from Balmoral to London on Friday where he will meet the recently appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss. On Saturday morning, Charles III will be formally proclaimed king after the traditional accession council.
“The proclamation will be read by Garter King of Arms, accompanied by the Earl Marshal, other Officers of Arms and the Serjeants at Arms. This is the first public reading of the Proclamation,” the Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Other public proclamations will follow in London and elsewhere.