queen elizabeth ii
On Monday, Queen Elizabeth II's funeral took place with all the pomp and circumstance expected for the longest reigning monarch for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
With Queen Elizabeth II having been the monarch for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in addition to 14 territories outside the United Kingdom and another 15 Commonwealth realms that voluntarily retain the British monarch as their own, invitations for foreign dignitaries were limited.
While some speculated that all—or most—of the former United States Presidents would rate an invite, only the current POTUS and FLOTUS—Democratic President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden—were invited.
As the United States—unlike northern neighbor Canada—is not a member of the British Commonwealth, an expectation that any United States official delegation would be placed front and center is unrealistic and unreasonable.
Unless you're the 45th President.
On Monday evening, former Republican POTUS Donald Trump took to Truth Social to proclaim he would have gotten prime seating at the Queen's funeral.
"This is what's happened to America in just two short years. No respect!"
"However a good time for our President to get to know the leaders of certain Third World countries."
It's a major departure for Trump to acknowledge President Biden is not only POTUS, but he is Trump's President instead of repeating his repeatedly disproven claims about the 2020 presidential election being stolen from him.
People took note.
\u201c@ObiWan_2_3 @MollyJongFast I noticed that too.\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
\u201c@tiimmaahh @MollyJongFast \u201cOur\u201d president. and yes. The liar, liar, pants (and hair) on \ud83d\udd25 fire _knows_ he lost. \nAnd he\u2019s going to prison. \nEventually. \nIf he lives long enough. \nSo ridiculously slow he\u2019s still free. \n#IndictTrumpNow\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
After admitting Biden is "our President," Trump added:
"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 included a photo to his post to call out Biden's "bad seats."
According to UK newspaper The Independent, Biden was assigned a seat in the 14th row, in the same section as the royal family, in an alcove right next to the Queen's coffin. Seating arrangements—as expected—appeared to prioritize Commonwealth leaders and royalty over other foreign leaders.
While many would consider any seat in that section a good seat and an expression of respect, Trump is known for pushing his way to the front and center of photo ops.
\u201cAwkward moment when Pres. Trump appears to push the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way at NATO conference. https://t.co/GKrsujUUr8\u201d— ABC News (@ABC News) 1495741913
Whether Trump would have shoved King Charles III out of his way to get the best seat will forever be unknown since he didn't merit an invite.
But Trump did make several breaches of protocol during his visits with the Queen during his presidency.
Including infamously cutting the Queen off while walking with her...
\u201cBritain\u2019s Queen Elizabeth walks around US President Donald Trump as they inspect the guard at Windsor Castle\u201d— RT\u00c9 News (@RT\u00c9 News) 1531499388
...keeping her waiting for 12 minutes...
\u201cOh dear, she just looked at her watch. The Queen does NOT like tardiness.\u201d— Patricia Treble (@Patricia Treble) 1531497096
...and putting his hands on the Queen to pat her.
People wondered who in the United States—aside from Trump—cared where Biden sat.
\u201cBesides the obvious fact that Trump wouldn\u2019t have gotten a better seat, do the American people care where the American president is seated at the funeral of the queen?\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
\u201c@BettyBowers @MollyJongFast Everyone remembers Trump's first NATO meeting, when he pushed the prime minister of Montenegro out of the way to reach the front of the group for a photo.\n\nThat caused J.K. Rowling to send this tweet: "You tiny, tiny, tiny little man." \n\nShe described Trump quite well.\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
\u201c@Gregnus_2022 @MollyJongFast I\u2019m just glad we have a president that understands that.\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
\u201c@MollyJongFast The price of winning the Revolutionary War is... the US isn't a Commonwealth country. We don't have to bow to the Queen or King, but we also have to sit in the back\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
\u201c@sentdata @MollyJongFast Well on the bright side it's the only thing he's ever been consistent on \ud83d\ude02\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
\u201c@DR_Fred_Davies @MollyJongFast If I could give you to thumbs up, I would. \ud83d\udc4d\ud83c\udffc \ud83d\udc4d\ud83c\udffc. Oh wait, I can.\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1663672034
President Biden and the First Lady were among about 2,000 people in attendance at the funeral at Westminster Abbey.
The POTUS and FLOTUS arrived for the funeral and waited in the back as a procession moved past, before taking their seats without fanfare.