Paying tribute. Ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, world leaders and diplomatic guests have started to arrive in London — including President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
As the 46th president of the United States, 79, and his wife, 71, arrived in London, they made an emotional visit to Westminster Hall on Sunday, September 18, where the late queen has been lying in state ahead of her Monday, September 19, funeral. After paying their respects to her casket, the married couple journeyed to Buckingham Palace.
“Our hearts go out to the royal family, King Charles and all of the family. It’s a loss that leaves a giant hole and sometimes you think you’ll never overcome it,” the Commander in Chief told reporters on Sunday, noting that he told King Charles III that his mother, the queen, will be with him “every step of the way, every moment” moving forward.
Charles, 73, and wife Queen Consort Camilla — as well as a handful of other working royals — are hosting a Sunday reception for overseas guests at the palace. The Bidens arrived that afternoon, promptly signing their names in a book of condolences.
“Queen Elizabeth II lived her life for the people she served with wisdom and grace,” Jill wrote at the time, according to a photo tweeted by New York Times‘ White House correspondent Zolan Kanno-Youngs.
The queen, who served as the British sovereign for 70 years, died on September 8 at the age of 96.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” the Delaware native and the college professor wrote in a joint statement after the palace confirmed the queen’s passing. “In a world of constant change, she 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. An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.”
The Bidens are among the dignitaries invited to Her Majesty’s state funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey, which concludes the country’s 12-day mourning period and various vigils in her honor. Elizabeth’s children and grandchildren, respectively, mounted their own tributes to her legacy as they stood guard around her coffin.
Prince William and Prince Harry took their watch on Saturday, September 17, both wearing military uniforms as they marched into Westminster Hall. Their cousins — Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall, Peter Phillips, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn — also joined the emotional vigil.
The queen’s lying in state period will conclude on Monday morning, as the royal family follows a military processional from the government building to Westminster Abbey for the memorial. They will then drive her casket in a hearse to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a committal service, where the queen and her late husband, Prince Philip, will be buried together in the royal vault of The King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Scroll below to see more photos of the Bidens mourning the late regent:
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