President Joe Biden flew across the pond to attend the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II this week, something that he could not possibly have done without contributing his own special brand of facepalm-worthy gaffes.
You see, the Bidens arrived late to the funeral, contributing a rather embarrassing hiccup to the otherwise meticulously choreographed affair that saw dozens of kings, princes, political leaders and other dignitaries gather from around the world.
This resulted in the representative of our great nation, the president of the United States, waiting awkwardly to be seated so he and the first lady did not disrupt the service — and then being placed 14 rows back with the leaders of the Czech Republic and Switzerland as an apparent result of the tardiness.
Yeah, not a great look.
Here’s what happened. You see, while the majority of world leaders were shuttled to Westminster Abbey for the funeral on a bus, Biden’s motorcade was given permission to transport its charge to the church separately, according to The Guardian.
It cannot be overstated that the security arrangements for the funeral, which brought together the leaders of the most powerful countries in the world in one single location, had to be scrupulously planned and carried out and no doubt contributed to a great many monumental headaches for the staff of the earl marshal, the Duke of Norfolk.
So I can only imagine how many people were shout-whispering strained inquiries and hurried emergency plans into ear pieces as the American delegation made its unfashionably late appearance at the abbey, a full 10 minutes after the 500 expected dignitaries were scheduled to arrive.
The Guardian noted that social media footage showed “The Beast,” as the U.S. president’s vehicle is known, inching cumbersomely through central London the previous evening, so it is speculated that traffic may have been to blame for the Bidens’ lateness.
The couple was reportedly made to wait awkwardly at the entrance to the church as those awarded the George and Victoria crosses — the United Kingdom’s highest military honors — completed their ceremonial entrance.
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Then, when the president and first lady of the United States were finally ushered to their seats, they were placed well back from the leaders of similarly prominent nations, a suspected result of their lack of punctuality.
So instead of being placed with the Commonwealth leaders such as the prime ministers of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as one might expect, Biden found himself stranded next to the presidents of Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. No offense to those fine nations.
It should be noted that this was the first state funeral since Prime Minister Winston Churchill was laid to rest in 1965, a fact that underscores how critical it was for the American president to get things right.
Now, I couldn’t possibly say I’m proud that Joe Biden was the person who represented our nation in the United Kingdom for the queen’s funeral. I won’t lie to you. I’m not. The last time Biden rubbed shoulders with the royal family, he broke royal protocol and compared the queen to a woman who wished for her death. (Yes, really.)
It was quite obviously very important for our country to have a respectful presence at this incredibly significant event, when leaders from all over the world were in full force to show their solidarity with the British people and respect for this great global power that has contributed so much to the furtherance of liberty and democracy around the world, in so many ways.
Historically, our country has been likened to a child of the British crown that has grown up and come into maturity, yet always remained close to the motherland. There would be no United States without the British Empire. There would be no American-style democracy without Britain’s contributions to the worldwide quest for independence from tyranny.
And so, diplomatically, it was critical for our nation to honor our bonds of friendship on the occasion of the passing of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, who herself was always gracious to our leaders and our country.
Leave it to Biden to bungle this crucial task — as his administration bungles the preservation of our liberties here at home.