- President Donald Trump issued a lengthy tribute to the Queen after her death on Thursday.
- Biden said he would attend the funeral, but CNN reported that it is up to him to invite former US presidents.
- Around 2,000 people are expected to attend the Queen’s funeral, which is set for September 19.
The royal family announced on Saturday that the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will take place on September 19, but who exactly will be on the guest list is still up in the air.
The Queen died on Thursday aged 96 after a historic 70-year reign. Buckingham Palace has long planned her death, after which her son, now King Charles III, immediately ascended the throne.
The Queen’s coffin is being prepared to lie in state at Westminster Hall for four days before the funeral to allow the public to pay their respects. Officials expect more than a million people to attend.
An official funeral is expected to be held at Westminster Abbey, where the Queen was crowned and where she married Prince Philip in 1947. Around 2,000 people are expected, including Europe’s royal families and world leaders.
President Joe Biden said Friday that while he did not yet have details about the service, he would attend. Whether former US presidents will be on the guest list is unclear.
CNN reported Friday that Britain left that decision to Biden.
“I’m told by a couple of diplomatic officials that Buckingham Palace leaves it up to each country individually,” said Jeff Zeleny, CNN’s chief national affairs correspondent, noting that former President Barack Obama invited George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter goes with him to the funeral of Nelson Mandela in 2013.
“So there is a protocol for having American presidents invite other presidents,” he continued. “Who knows, maybe in the spirit of forgiving and giving, President Biden will invite Donald Trump to Air Force One. I doubt it will happen, but I expect some kind of bipartisan delegation.”
Former President Donald Trump, for his part, was a vocal fan of the Queen, whom he met on several official state visits during his presidency. Following the news of her death, Trump shared a lengthy tribute to the Queen in a series of posts on Truth Social.
“Melania and I will always cherish our time with the Queen and never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom and wonderful sense of humour. What a magnificent and beautiful lady she was – there was no one like her!” he wrote, adding: “God bless the Queen, may she reign forever in our hearts, and may God keep her and Prince Philip in constant care.”
Trump also shared several photos of him and the Queen smiling together during their visit.
Trump and Biden, on the other hand, may be on more hostile terms than ever after the president’s Sept. 1 speech in which he said “MAGA Republicans” represented a danger to American democracy.
While debating whether or not Biden would invite Trump to the funeral, CNN’s Jake Tapper said he thought it would be a “smart” move for the president to invite him and see if he goes.
“I don’t think former President Trump would want to be subservient to Air Force One, and I think he’d probably prefer his own plane anyway,” Tapper said.