Biden’s silent mourning for the queen

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LONDON — President JOE BIDEN’His entire political career—indeed, much of his adult life—has been marked by personal loss. He has given her a rare ability to speak about death with reassuring authority at funerals and memorials alike.

But over the past 24 hours, Biden has kept a low profile as he joined several hundred other world leaders in a funeral that was perhaps the most-watched broadcast of all time. The president had no role to play in the commemoration of the Queen’s life ISABEL II for ceremonies at Westminster Abbey in London. She remained largely off center stage.

Such a role makes sense. The funeral was a royal affair, prepared for the country’s longest-serving monarch. There was no direct link to the President of the United States. To that point, Biden is the first US president to attend a British state funeral since World War II, the Boston University history professor said. ARIANNE CHERNOCK, whose specialty is modern British and European history. When Elizabeth’s father, the king George VIdied 1952, president HARRY TRUMAN envoy Secretary of State DEAN ACHESSON to attend the funeral. President LINDO JOHNSON sent to the then president of the Supreme Court EARL WARREN a WINSTON CHURCH1965 funeral.

“The optics are important and the message can be very important at these momentous funerals,” Chernock said. And yet, Biden acknowledges that “this is not his time. This is royal family time, and he’s there to pay his respects and show American support.”

Biden was not the only American who came to England to offer his condolences. Others have traveled across the pond in the last week to pay tribute to the queen’s long service.

one of them was RACHEL NORTH GREEN, a 30-year-old financial marketer from Topeka, Kansas. She decided on Thursday to fly to London, with the blessing of her husband and boss, and waited 10 hours in a row to see the queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall. The line sometimes stretched for five miles.

Although his age makes the younger generation of royals such as princes WILLIAM Y HARRY — more accessible to her, Nordgren said she still feels a connection to the queen, who ascended the throne when she was just 25 years old. She said that the queen’s life story was something that helped her overcome the pain when, at the age of 25, she lost her mother.

“I remember those early days of grief, just thinking, ‘You know, if Lizzie was my age and could get up and run the country, I can get up and go to work today,'” he said. “So I think during that time, I really developed a lot of respect for her and the incredible job that she did of her despite everything of hers getting in her way.”

When she finally reached the queen’s coffin, Nordgren was struck with emotion.

“The solemnity and serenity of that Hall, and the coffin draped in the Royal Standard and crowned with the Crown Jewels,” he said. “I bowed and cried and said ‘thank you’ in my heart.”

Nordgren acknowledged that the United States and the United Kingdom have a complicated relationship.

“Still, this country is our heritage. It’s pretty much where America’s roots began, so we’ll always have that in common,” she said. She was surrounded by her “queue mates,” the new friends she made while she waited hours in line together.

“The British Empire has a long, complicated and sometimes brutal history. There are many flaws in the institution,” he said. But being in line, in the country celebrating the queen’s life, “has reiterated to me a human connection that many of us are feeling right now.”

Biden, for his part, steered clear of history and politics in brief remarks he made while attending the queen’s funeral. He and the first lady paid their respects in Westminster Hall and then each signed the official book of condolences at Lancaster House. After that, he did something he does in moments of grief: he drew on his own story of loss and suffering to offer some words of wisdom and a shred of hope.

“Our hearts go out to the royal family – King Charles and the entire family. It’s a loss that leaves a giant hole,” Biden said. “And sometimes you think you’ll never get over it. But as I told the king, she will be with him every step of the way.”

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