If Donald Trump thought that his hagiography of Queen Elizabeth published on his Truth Social website and the Daily Mail in the days after her death would secure him an invite to her funeral, he will be disappointed.
For it has been revealed that Trump, who is believed to have been angling for an invite, will not after all receive an invitation to attend the queen’s funeral on Monday next week in London.
In a departure from tradition, former U.S. presidents will not be invited to attend the funeral. Instead, the honor will be extended only to current heads of state, and their spouses or partners, apparently due to pressure on space.
The revelations were made in a report by Politico, based on documents seen by them that have been distributed to embassies and ambassadors as long-held arrangements for the queen’s death, codenamed Operation London Bridge, swing into action.
The Times of London reported: “Questions have been asked in the US over whether Donald Trump will be invited but British sources have scotched the idea that he could accompany the US delegation and said there would not be space for Biden’s predecessors.”
CBS News reported Monday that President Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, would be the only official representatives of the U.S. at the funeral. “There will be no delegation because we have only two seats for the funeral,” a senior official told CBS’ senior White House and political correspondent Ed O’Keefe.
Ahead of Trump being snubbed, advisers hoped President Biden’s delegation would invite Trump.
“Biden should include Trump the way Obama included [former President] George W. Bush for Mandela,” a senior Trump adviser told The Daily Beast, referring to how world leaders were invited to the former South African president’s funeral. “No brainer.”
That same Trump adviser added that the former president had “deep respect,” “admiration,” and “fascination” with the queen.
A Trump spokesperson didn’t immediately return The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Monday morning.
The guidelines from the British Foreign Office state, “Because of limited space at the state funeral service and associated events, no other members of the principal’s family, staff or entourage may be admitted.”
Trump was seen by some as making a clear pitch to get an invite when he wrote on Truth Social that meeting the queen was “the most extraordinary honor of my life.”
“May God bless the Queen, may she reign forever in our hearts, and may God hold her and Prince Philip in abiding care,” Trump added following the death.
On Friday evening, the former president posted to Truth Social a series of nine photos of the two together, mostly from his trip during his administration.
Trump has frequently boasted of his relationship with the queen, saying that they “got along fantastically well” when they met when he was president and that a scheduled 15-minute meeting organically extended to an hour due to the quality of their personal interaction.
The Times of London reports that the White House caught the Palace “off guard” when Biden told reporters of his plan to attend the event, and that “Australia and New Zealand are engaging in soft diplomacy to ferry Pacific leaders to London for the funeral.”
Foreign dignitaries have also been asked to fly commercial to the U.K., to avoid using helicopters, and were told they will be required to get to the venue, Westminster Abbey, by a shuttle bus rather than their state cars.
“Multiple and comprehensive layers of security will be in place across London and at all the official venues used for the state funeral and associated events,” an official document states.
Politico quoted a WhatsApp message from one foreign ambassador based in London as saying, “Can you imagine Joe Biden on the bus?”
On Monday, as headlines mushroomed, the British and U.S. governments subsequently sought to push back against the “Biden on the Bus” narrative. A spokesperson for British prime minister, Liz Truss, told the Guardian that “arrangements for different leaders will vary,” and the paper said it had been told by U.S. sources that the White House had received a different version of the document than the one that was leaked.
Editor’s note: This story has been amended to correct a quote given by the Trump adviser. The correct quote reads: “Biden should include Trump the way Obama included [former President] George W. Bush for Mandela.”