After not receiving an invitation to the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, former President Donald Trump was invited to a memorial service for the late monarch in Washington, D.C.
Only President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were sent invitations to the funeral in London on Monday. According to The Independent, Trump, as well as all other living former U.S. presidents, received invitations to the service, which will be held on Wednesday, September 21, at the Washington National Cathedral.
As of Saturday morning, none of the former presidents, Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush, nor Jimmy Carter, have confirmed their attendance at the Washington memorial service.
The invitations to the Queen’s funeral sparked controversy overseas since her death, as it was unclear if only the sitting president would receive an invite, or whether the invitation would also extend to former presidents—including one involved in numerous investigations.
There was some speculation that President Biden would have to make the call to invite his predecessor. Jake Tapper said on “The Lead,” that he thought it was “fascinating” that “it’s going to basically be left up to President Biden as to whether or not he brings other presidents with him to the Queen’s funeral.”
Earlier this week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre put an end to such speculation: “The invitation was extended to the US government for the President and the First Lady only.”
On top of this royal drama, transportation to the Queen’s funeral has come under scrutiny, as foreign dignitaries have been asked to travel by commercial planes and share buses to travel to the service; helicopters and private state cars have been banned. Biden is one of a few exceptions, who is allowed to travel in his protected limo, known as “The Beast.”
“Can you imagine Joe Biden on the bus?” one foreign ambassador said in a WhatsApp message last weekend. Other foreign leaders are now requesting the Biden treatment.