No U.S. president has ever attended a coronation for a British monarch. President Joe Biden will hold to precedent and stay back while first lady Jill Biden and their granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, represent the U.S. at the ceremony this weekend.

Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was invited to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 but chose to stay back and watch the broadcasted ceremony from the White House, reports The Washington Post.

Despite making the exclusive guest list, Biden informed King Charles III that he would not attend his coronation ceremony during a phone call last month, reports CBS News. Biden expressed interest in meeting with the king in the future. The White House noted that the phone call underscored the “strength of the relationship between our countries and the friendship between our peoples.”

“It is not a snub,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, per Time magazine. Biden is opting out of the event due to previous commitments.

Jill Biden and her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, arrived in London for the coronation on Friday. The first lady has already spent time at the prime minister’s official residence to meet with Akshata Murty, the wife of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, per The New York Times. Biden and Murty attended several events together, including a performance at Charles Dickens Primary School.

View Comments

While in London, Jill Biden will meet with staff at the U.S. Embassy, attend a post-coronation reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley and take part in a Sunday luncheon hosted by Sunak and Murty at their Downing Street residence before heading back to the U.S.

“I love seeing the first lady as our representative and I would have been thrilled for any first lady to attend,” said Lindsay Reynolds, who was first lady Melania Trump’s White House chief of staff, per CBS News. “I don’t think it is a slight in any way for the president to not be attending.”

Trump accuses Meghan Markle of being ‘very disrespectful,’ blasts Biden for skipping coronation

How to watch the coronation in the U.S.

The coronation service will begin at approximately 4 a.m. MDT or 11 a.m. in London on Saturday, May 6. The ceremony is expected to run for roughly 90 minutes, during which Charles will sign an oath pledging to serve the people. He and Queen Camilla will both be crowned — Charles with the Imperial State Crown and Camilla with the Queen Mary’s Crown, as reported by the Deseret News.

Several U.S. media outlets will present the coronation ceremony for American viewers, including ABC News, “Good Morning America,” CBS, CNN, Fox News and BBC America.

Where to watch if you don’t have cable

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.