First lady Jill Biden, who attended the coronation of Britain’s King Charles III on behalf of President Joe Biden, expressed awe at the beauty and pageantry of the ceremony. Speaking in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after the event in London, she described the moment when the crown was placed on the heads of the king and queen as surreal and extraordinary.
During the coronation, King Charles III’s wife, Camilla, was also crowned queen, marking Britain’s first coronation in 70 years. The previous monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away in September following her seven-decade reign.
President Joe Biden, recognizing the historic significance, requested Jill Biden to represent the United States at the coronation, marking the first time a U.S. first lady has been present for a British coronation. Accompanying her on the trip was her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, 23, further enhancing the significance of the occasion.
Jill Biden expressed her honor in representing the American people and emphasized the meaningfulness of sharing the experience with Finnegan. Their joint presence underscored the importance of their journey and the personal connection they formed throughout the event.
After the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the first lady and Finnegan headed to afternoon tea, a quintessentially British tradition that they were eager to experience together. Jill Biden described the event as a reflection of British culture and expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to partake in it.
Observing the ceremony and its traditions, Jill Biden contemplated the significance of decorum and civility in bringing people from diverse nations together. She acknowledged the unifying power of such shared values and highlighted the importance of preserving and upholding these principles.
During the coronation, Jill Biden sat alongside Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine. The two discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Zelenska expressing gratitude for the support received from the United States. This interaction further emphasized the diplomatic nature of the event and the bonds forged between nations.
Jill Biden also emphasized the message delivered by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who spoke about the universal human desire for hope and joy. She found his words particularly resonant, stating that they hold true for people across the globe. She noted the significance of the clergy bringing this message to such a historic moment in time.
Prior to the coronation, the first lady attended a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles. During the event, she engaged in conversation with Princess Kate, discussing the challenges of keeping their children quiet during church services and sharing humorous anecdotes. This casual interaction highlighted the common experiences shared by mothers worldwide.
Jill Biden’s attendance at the British coronation left her in awe of the rich traditions and cultural heritage on display. Her reflections emphasized the importance of unity, diplomacy, and shared values in fostering connections among nations and people from all walks of life.