Why is Joe Biden really skipping Charles III’s coronation?
Joe Biden will almost certainly not attend the coronation of King Charles III. The official reason is that he is making a trip to Ireland that simply can’t be canceled. The media have focused on two reasons he won’t be there: (1) Eisenhower didn’t attend so there’s no tradition for presidents to attend, and (2) Biden hates the British. I think there are two more likely reasons: (1) Charles III’s coronation is an event without cachet, and (2) it’s impossible for Biden to withstand the rigors of the long coronation ceremony and any pre- and post-ceremony events. Indeed, my money is on the last reason being the real reason.
The top-line story is straightforward:
It is unlikely President Joe Biden will attend King Charles’ coronation in May, a source said.
A source told the Telegraph that it was ‘unlikely’ that Biden, 80, would attend the May 6 coronation as he is expected to make a trip to Ireland for the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement just a few weeks prior.
So a trip to Ireland weeks before the coronation prevents Biden from attending the first British coronation in 70 years. Does that sound likely?
Several papers reporting on Biden’s probable absence have noted that General Eisenhower did not attend Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in June 1953. This theory is that American presidents don’t attend British coronations. Maybe, yes; maybe, no.
Image: Biden meets Prince Charles. YouTube screen grab.
A second reason the media are giving for Biden’s coronation snub is his known disdain for the British as the reason:
Biden has spoken openly about his Irish family's disdain for England and the British monarchy in his memoir, claiming that his mother once refused to sleep in a bed that the Queen had once slept in.
In the book, he also recalled his aunt once saying that his dad was "not a bad man" but he was "just English”.
Before meeting the late Queen, his mother also apparently instructed him not to “bow down to her”.
Given that the British did, in fact, subject the Irish to centuries of cruelty, that’s not an unreasonable supposition for his absence. However, I think there are two more reasons he may be giving it a hard pass, with the second of the two being the real reason Biden is skipping the party.
The first unspoken reason Biden won’t go is that Charles III has no cachet, especially among the left. While leftists may forgive England for brutalizing Ireland (the Irish, after all, are as white as the English), England’s colonial history in Africa and Southeast Asia is less forgivable.
That seems to be the reason that today’s pop icons are turning down the opportunity to entertain at the event—that and the fact that even Charles’s climate fanaticism is not enough to overcome the boredom and ick factors associated with him. After all, he’s a man who cheated on a wife whom ordinary people adored and, moreover, wanted to be a tampon in his then-mistress Camilla (soon to be Queen Camilla). As I said, ick.
What no official outlet will admit, but what I suspect is the real stopping point for Biden when it comes to attending an important event for an allied nation, is that he’s not physically or mentally up to the task. Coronations are long affairs. Queen Elizabeth II’s took three hours. Even if Charles’s coronation is shortened for modern attention spans, it’s still going to be a long affair.
Heads of state or their representatives will have to hang around in Westminster Abbey while Charles and Camilla arrive in state; then they must sit through the event; and, afterward, they must stay in place while the newly crowned King and Queen depart. Naturally, during those before and afters, the heads of state and representatives will be expected to meet, greet, and mingle.
In addition, there will be myriad other events: Parties, suppers, photo opportunities, etc. It will not only be a long, busy day but also several long, busy days.
Can anyone, anyone at all, imagine Biden being up to the rigors of those events? This is a president who has spent 40% of his presidency on vacation—every weekend and whenever else he can get time off, with him always being incommunicado during those times. Biden had his last press conference 109 days ago. He ignores the press whenever possible.
Also, no one can forget Biden’s performance in England in 2021 for the G7 Summit. He got lost in a restaurant, and the other leaders were laughing at him. That was two years ago. Biden’s gotten much loopier since then. There’s no way he can survive the rigors of being a coronation guest.
Sure, maybe it’s another event, an American tradition of avoiding coronations, a family history of hostility to England, or an “uncool” king, but it seems likely that, hiding behind all those theories is the fact that Biden is physically and mentally incapable of attending the coronation.