President Joe Biden held his first call with King Charles III on Wednesday, offering his condolences for the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The White House released a statement saying Biden and the king discussed the queen’s memory, with Biden remarking on his visit to the royal family at Windsor Castle last year. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to the U.K. for the queen’s state funeral next week.
“The President recalled fondly the Queen’s kindness and hospitality,” the White House wrote. “He also conveyed the great admiration of the American people for the Queen, whose dignity and constancy deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
Biden said he hoped to continue a “close” relationship with the king.
Biden and the First Lady are among roughly 500 foreign dignitaries who are invited to the queen’s funeral on Sept. 19. The U.K. has declined to offer invitations to the leaders of Russia and Belarus, however.
The queen’s coffin departed from Buckingham Palace Wednesday with a military procession. Its final destination will be Westminster Abbey, where her service will be held. It will be the first time a British monarch’s funeral has been held in the abbey since the 1700s.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Westminster will lead the service with sermons before newly-minted Prime Minister Liz Truss is called to speak.