President Joe Biden will likely reject an invitation to attend King Charles III’s coronation in May, with insiders claiming he is “too old” to travel across the Atlantic and attend the ceremony.
Insiders disclosed to The Telegraph that Biden will attend an event in Northern Ireland later this month but will likely not visit London for the coronation. However, the president’s aides are reportedly “cautious about his foreign trips to prevent exhaustion that could affect his ability to carry out his duties within the country.”
Despite supposedly being unable to make foreign trips, Biden is expected to announce his bid for the 2024 presidential race soon and is also set to travel to Japan for the G7 summit next month.
“The guy is 80. They space out his big bursts of activity quite considerably,” the source told the British broadsheet. “They did that too with Trump, and he was younger. When Biden does something like the State of the Union address, we didn’t see much from him in the following 48 hours. They don’t like to push him around the world too much.”
Officials in London and Washington reportedly emphasized that Mr. Biden has not yet made a formal decision regarding his attendance. They have also stated that if he chooses not to attend, it should not be viewed as a snub to the British monarchy, although many Royal commentators and analysts will likely construe it as such.
Biden is the oldest individual to occupy the presidency, having been eight years older than Donald Trump, the second-oldest, at the time of taking office. If he decides to run for another presidential term, wins re-election, and completes a second term, he will be 86 years old when he steps down in 2028.
The White House, meanwhile, has refused to confirm whether the 80-year-old president will attend the Coronation but has vehemently denied allegations that his age would be a factor driving his absence. Biden was present at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in September.
Although Biden’s age is a delicate issue in the White House, his staff typically attempts to avoid extended travel as much as possible. Biden has also participated in far fewer press conferences with the White House press corps and media interviews than his recent predecessors.
Another excuse Biden could hide behind was that Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was president at the time of the late Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, sent a delegation to her ceremony but did not attend himself over fears that his presence would have overshadowed her ascension to the throne. There are currently suggestions that Biden may send his wife Jill, to the coronation in his place.
Among those unimpressed with Biden’s snub was British commentator Piers Morgan, who described it as a “huge moment in British history” that Trump would have likely attended.
Biden’s health and fitness for the job is a matter of much public debate, with many people suggesting he is suffering from a form of early-onset dementia. In March, White House doctor Kevin O’Connor confirmed that Biden had had a cancerous skin lesion removed the previous month as part of a routine health screening.
“All cancerous tissue was successfully removed,” O’Connor wrote in a White House memo, explaining that no further treatment would be required. He added the biopsy site had “healed nicely.”