Donald Trump mocked his successor, Joe Biden, for where he was seated during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday, claiming it was a sign of the U.S.’ diminished stature on the world stage and insisting he would have been placed much farther forward if still in office.
Trump, in a series of posts on his Truth Social platform, mocked Biden for being seated in the fourteenth row of Westminster Abbey’s south transept, seven rows from the back.
The position—behind world leaders including Canada’s Justin Trudeau, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Australia’s Anthony Albanese, France’s Emmanuel Macron and the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen—shows how far the U.S. has fallen on the world stage since he left office, Trump claimed.
The arrangement—dictated by strict royal protocol that ranks Commonwealth nations ahead of others attending—showed “no respect” to the U.S. but did offer Biden the chance to network with “leaders of certain third world countries,” Trump quipped.
It is not clear which “third world” leaders to which Trump was referring—the Bidens were seated next to the president of Switzerland, directly behind the president of Poland, in front of the Czech prime minister, across the aisle from the president of South Korea and in the same row as China’s representative, vice president Wang Qishan.
Trump, who was not invited to the event, insisted organizers would have sat him farther forward if he were still in office.
“If I were president, they wouldn’t have sat me back there—and our Country would be much different than it is right now,” Trump said. “In Real Estate, like in Politics and in Life, LOCATION IS EVERYTHING!!!”
Trump, a reported fan of the late queen, has historically shown ignorance of or a lack of regard for the proprieties of royal protocol, which he broke repeatedly when visiting Britain. These comments, which ignore the intricate way seating is arranged for those attending the funeral, particularly with regard to visiting royalty and dignitaries from Commonwealth nations or those where the queen was head of state, further illustrate a failure to understand the different rules at play when dealing with Britain’s royal family. The Bidens were actually afforded special treatment for the occasion and officials allowed the president and first lady to travel in their own limousine and jet (other world leaders were asked to travel commercially and were collectively bussed in from another location in London). This arrangement could also have explained why the Bidens were seated so far back. The president was also reportedly late arriving at the funeral due to traffic and had to wait for a procession to finish before taking his seat.
Space constraints harshly curtailed who could be invited to the queen’s state funeral in London on Monday and only current heads of state were invited. Around 2,000 people gathered at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the queen’s life, including some 500 world leaders and dignitaries. Biden, Trump and other living U.S. presidents have been invited to a memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
World leaders know their place at the funeral of the century (Politico)