US President Joe Biden is unlikely to attend the King’s Coronation next month.
According to sources close to the negotiations, he is “not expected” to join several other heads of state at the event on May 6.
America is keen to avoid any perceptions of a snub and to show its support for the King, with one option being to send Jill Biden, the first lady, instead.
Buckingham Palace has already emailed Coronation guests to “save the date” for the ceremony.
Many heads of state will attend, including those from Ireland, France, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Hungary, and Monaco.
The EU’s three presidents, Ursula von der Leyen, Roberta Metsola, and Charles Michel, will all be present.
Despite publicly declaring himself a republican, newly elected Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has said he will attend.
On the same day, he has accepted an invitation to speak at a pro-independence rally in Glasgow.
The British ambassador to the United States, Dame Karen Pierce, and Buckingham Palace aides are said to have held “cordial and diplomatic” talks with White House officials about the Coronation.
They’ve been told that Biden, who attended the late Queen’s funeral, already has other obligations.
However, Bob Seely, a Conservative MP on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said the White House made a “foolish decision” and urged Biden to reconsider his plans.
“It seems pretty remiss, and I’m tempted to say more fool him for not coming,” he said.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you’d think he’d come because he’s a head of state.”
“If I were President of the United States, there would be no doubt in my mind that I would attend the Coronation of the King of England.” It just appears to be a stupid decision.”