Biden speaks with King Charles, offers condolences on death of Queen Elizabeth II

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President Biden on Wednesday spoke with King Charles III for the first time since his ascension to the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

In a readout of their call, the White House said Biden offered the king his condolences on the death of the queen.

Biden, who met with the queen last year on his first overseas trip as president, “recalled fondly the Queen’s kindness and hospitality, including when she hosted him and the First Lady at Windsor Castle,” the White House said.

“He also conveyed the great admiration of the American people for the Queen, whose dignity and constancy deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” the White House added. “The President conveyed his wish to continue a close relationship with the King.”

President Biden and King Charles III.
President Biden and King Charles III, seen here in Scotland in November 2021, spoke by phone on Wednesday, the White House said. (Jane Barlow/PA Wire via ZUMA Press)

The queen died Thursday at age 96 as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Biden has formally accepted an invitation to attend Elizabeth’s state funeral service next week. He will be accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, who also received a personal invite.

Other former presidents, however, are not expected to attend, as Buckingham Palace did not ask the White House to bring a U.S. delegation.

According to Politico, only the heads of state and their spouses or partners from each country have been invited to attend the funeral, which will be held inside Westminster Abbey, in London.

Charles will also host a reception for all the overseas leaders at Buckingham Palace on the evening before the funeral service.