Joe Biden is planning on skipping the coronation of King Charles III in early May, following the tradition of US presidents not attending such occasions.
In his stead, first lady Jill Biden is expected to lead the US delegation to attend the event, the Washington Post reported.
The president’s absence was rumored last month after an anonymous White House official told Time that the coronation did “not feel like an event Joe Biden will attend”.
Charles became king following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September.
Elizabeth ruled for more than 70 years, becoming the longest-serving monarch in British history.
Biden, along with other world leaders, attended her funeral – the first time a US leader had attend a British state funeral, according to the UK ambassador to the US.
It is not unusual for US presidents to skip the British coronation: no US leader has attended the ceremony. Elizabeth’s coronation, in 1953, was not attended by then president Dwight Eisenhower, although the US did send an appointed delegation.
Despite the historical precedent, some British figures have been critical of Biden’s upcoming absence.
Bob Seely, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, called Biden’s skipping the ceremony a “foolish decision”.
“It seems pretty remiss, and I’m tempted to say more fool him for not coming,” Seely said to the Telegraph.
Formal invitations to the ceremony are due to be sent out this month, according to the Daily Mail. An estimated 2,000 people are on the guest list.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, have reportedly received an invitation, but have yet to confirm their attendance.
An unnamed source told the Telegraph that efforts are being made to see if Biden can be persuaded to attend the ceremony.
Biden will visit Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic later this month to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement. The 1998 deal largely ended three decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
Biden is not expected to meet Charles during the trip, but he is due to huddle with with the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, former US president Bill Clinton, and ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Bill Clinton helped negotiate the Good Friday agreement when it was signed on 10 April 1998.
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