Administration

Bidens pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II

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US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London, Sunday Sept. 18, 2022. (Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Sunday paid their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in state at Westminster Hall in London. 

The Bidens are in the United Kingdom ahead of the queen’s state funeral service at Westminster Abbey on Monday. Hundreds of international leaders have reportedly been invited to attend the ceremony.

“To all the people of England, all the people of the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you. And you were fortunate to have had her for seventy years. We all were. The world is better for her,” Biden said in remarks Sunday after signing a condolence book for the late queen.

The monarch died Sept. 8 at her Balmoral castle in Scotland, ending a seven-decade reign and leaving her son Prince Charles to take the throne as King Charles III. 

Her coffin has made a slow journey through the United Kingdom since her death more than a week ago, and is now nearing the end of a four-day stint at Westminster Hall, where her coffin is on view to the public.

On Monday, which was made a national bank holiday in the U.K., the queen’s coffin will move to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service

The Bidens have both lauded the late queen in memoriam.

“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,” Biden said in a statement after news of the monarch’s passing.

The first lady on NBC News last week remembered the late queen’s curiosity and independence.

The long guest list of world leaders expected to attend the service Monday is proving to be a hefty security challenge, and many, like the Bidens, have already arrived in London.

Leaders from within the Commonwealth, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are in the U.K. for the service, according to the BBC. 

The presidents of Ireland, Germany, Italy and France have also accepted invitations to attend, according to the BBC, as has Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. Russian President Vladimir Putin was among those heads of states left off the invite list. 

The queen will be buried Tuesday after a committal service at Windsor Castle, just outside of London, according to Buckingham Palace.

Here’s when and where to watch the queen’s funeral service on Monday.

Tags Biden Elizabeth II Jill Biden Jill Biden Joe Biden London Prince Charles Queen Elizabeth death Queen Elizabeth funeral Queen Elizabeth II United Kingdom

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