White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre avoided questions regarding Trump’s arrest and indictment this week for most of the press briefing on Wednesday, but one topic caused numerous back-and-forths between reporters expressing shock and anxiety that Biden won’t be doing something no president has ever done.
Reporters bombarded White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre with questions regarding President Joe Biden’s absence from King Charles III’s coronation, even though everyone knew that presidents never attended such events.
Our two nations’ friendship and close ties were reaffirmed today when President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. talked with King Charles III. The President congratulated the King on the occasion of his Coronation and told the King that First Lady Jill Biden was looking forward to representing the United States at the event. The President also expressed his hope to visit the United Kingdom and meet with the King at some point in the near future.
At least four reporters, including Steve Portnoy, a veteran CBS News Radio journalist and undoubtedly an expert on the subject, queried Jean-Pierre about the coronation and the “connection” between the president and the monarch.
Jean-Pierre did drop a bombshell on Portnoy with her answer; the previous reporter to inquire had already established that presidents don’t often attend events like this, but she persisted in asking whether or not the British public should see this as a “snub.”
The White House, when contacted for comment, cited the many articles that have noted U.S. presidents have never attended the coronations of British monarchs and expressed bewilderment that journalists from publications that have reported this to be the standard kept behaving as if it is not.
In June 1953, Eisenhower sent a delegate to Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Before that, no U.S. president has ever attended a monarch’s ceremony.
The first reigning British monarch to ever visit the U.S. was King George VI in 1939.