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President Biden gets backlash for driving to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in his own car instead of bus with other leaders

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United States President Joe Biden has been the subject of some backlash since Monday, when he was seen on international coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral driving to the service in his own vehicle instead of on a bus with other world leaders.

Biden traveled to Westminster Abbey in his armored presidential vehicle nicknamed “The Beast.” Other world leaders were seen traveling together on a chartered bus on the same route.

Viewers have pointed out that Biden did not mingle with the other world leaders on the bus, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying “a lot of great conversations happen on the bus.” 

Biden reportedly received special dispensation to use his motorcade instead of the bus with the rest of the foreign dignitaries, while others were told to leave their vehicles at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and board the bus from there to the service.

Various members of European royalty rode the bus as well as presidents and national leaders from countries around the world, including the Italian President Sergio Mattarella and German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Many of the passengers on the bus were leaders from African countries. 

“President William Ruto and other African leaders inside a bus vs America’s Joe Biden motorcade as they head to the Buckingham Palace in honor of Queen Elizabeth II,” wrote Kenyan news outlet Kenyans.co.ke on Twitter.

Kenyan politician Alimur Mohamed wrote, “African leaders in a bus in UK being treated the way they treat us after they were invited to attend the burial of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It’s only President of the United States Joe Biden who used his own car – The Beast – to travel to the service at Westminster Abbey.”

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Friday the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is the “largest global protection operation we’ve ever undertaken,” and the buses were part of the overall security measures in place during the events.

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