The British Government will invite Donald Trump to a memorial service in honour of Queen Elizabeth II in Washington DC after the former US president was left off the guest list for the late monarch’s funeral service, the Telegraph has learned.
Mr Trump, 76, and all four other living ex-presidents have been given the option to attend the service of thanksgiving at Washington’s National Cathedral on Wednesday. Former heads of state are not invited to the official funeral in London on Monday.
An invitation seen by The Telegraph describes the event as “a Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.
The invitations to high-level officials will be sent out in the name of Dame Karen Pierce, the UK ambassador to Washington, and her husband Sir Charles Roxburgh, a former Treasury official, on Thursday.
The Telegraph understands that the Queen’s Colour Squadron will perform an honour guard. The service and music will also be carefully selected to represent all four parts of the Union.
As a Protestant Episcopal Church, the National Cathedral is part of the Anglican Communion, which includes the Church of England.
The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, will preside over the service.
The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, who delivered an uplifting sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018, will also speak on Wednesday.
Dame Karen and the Very Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, will deliver remarks.
“Her Majesty devoted 70 years of service to her God and to her people,” said Rev Marshall Hollerith. “We will remember her unwavering sense of duty, devotion and fidelity she embodied, and the many visits she has made to the Cathedral over her lifetime.”
Meeting Queen was ‘most extraordinary honour of my life’
Mr Trump expressed his great admiration for the late Queen while in office, and enjoyed the rare privilege of an official state visit to the UK in 2019.
Mr Trump said his meeting with the Queen was “the most extraordinary honour of my life” in a gushing tribute following her death.
“The whole of civilisation is in mourning. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the enlightened monarch who reigned over the United Kingdom for 70 years, is a loss felt by billions around the world,” he said.
The tribute prompted days of speculation over whether Mr Trump and his wife Melania would be included among the 2,000 mourners at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
The White House later confirmed that Mr Trump would not be included in the US delegation travelling to London, which is limited to current heads of state.
Joe Biden, the US president, was among the first world leaders to confirm he would attend the funeral service, one of the grandest and most complex events on British soil since the Second World War.
Liz Truss to visit US for first time
Liz Truss will make her first visit to the US as Prime Minister next week to give an address to the United Nations general assembly in New York.
It is understood the Prime Minister will be unlikely to be able to attend the Cathedral service in Washington.
Washington’s National cathedral has hosted state funerals for four former US presidents – Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and George HW Bush – as well as a number of memorial services.
Invitations to Mr Trump, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and their spouses were sent out on Thursday.
The service, organised by the British embassy in Washington, is expected to include a number of dignitaries, including senior members of the US Congress and all foreign ambassadors.
The cathedral can hold around 1,700 people and it is expected that the event will meet capacity.
It is unclear whether Mr Trump will attend. The Republican leader was spotted at one of his golf properties in the US capital this week.