For the second time in less than a month, President Joe Biden has not attended a major international royal event involving a purported close friend and ally, along with dozens of high-profile world leaders, and instead sent first lady Jill Biden in his place.
On Thursday, Jill Biden represented the U.S. on the prestigious guest list for the Royal Wedding of Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein in the capitol city of Amman, Forbes reported.
It was in early May that the first lady had also served as the top U.S. representative instead of the president at the formal Coronation ceremony for King Charles III in the United Kingdom.
The Royal Wedding in Jordan is viewed as having a substantial geopolitical impact, per Forbes, given that the 28-year-old Crown Prince Hussein married a 29-year-old Saudi architect named Rajwa Al Saif, whose own family is connected to the ruling Saudi Royal family.
That is significant because relations between Jordan and Saudi Arabia have become increasingly tense and troubled in recent years -- the Saudis were alleged to have backed a failed 2021 coup attempt against Jordanian King Abdullah II, which they denied -- and Thursday's nuptials were expected to help ease tensions and bring the neighboring nations closer together.
In fact, it was anticipated that the event would also be attended by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia in place of his ailing and elderly father King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Also of note on the high-profile guest list, according to Forbes, were the U.K.'s Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, whose attendance was kept a secret until the last moment.
The National News, a United Arab Emirates-based media out, reported last week that first lady Jill Biden had plans to attend the Royal Wedding in Jordan as part of a broader scheduled trip to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe during the first week of June.
That six-day trip was set to begin in Jordan and include visits to Egypt, Morocco, and Portugal, during which she would reportedly focus on advocating for the rights of women and children and related issues like education and healthcare.
The visit to Jordan and attendance at the Royal Wedding is actually not a big surprise as the president and first lady are said to have developed a "deep and long-standing friendship" over the years with Jordan's King Abdullah II and his wife, Queen Rania.
Per the outlet, the president and king have met officially at least three times since Biden took office in 2021, twice at the White House and once at a summit in Saudi Arabia.
However, they first became friends when Biden was vice president and the pair met numerous times unofficially when Abdullah would come to the U.S. to visit the Crown Prince while he was attending Georgetown University, and Abdullah was reportedly a guest at Biden's Delaware home on at least one occasion between Biden's stints in the White House.
Town & Country magazine reported that first lady Jill Biden was joined at the Royal Wedding in Jordan by her daughter Ashley, which was somewhat similar to her attendance at the British Coronation when she had been joined by granddaughter Finnegan.
Perhaps committing a fashion faux pas, or maybe just being thrifty, the first lady reportedly re-wore a dress she had donned little more than a month earlier for an extravagant State Dinner event at the White House on April 26 -- "a light purple Reem Acra gown."
In a series of tweets posted Tuesday to announce her departure for the trip to the Middle East and North Africa, Biden wrote, "I look forward to traveling to Amman, Jordan to join King Abdullah and Queen Rania in celebrating their son, Crown Prince Al Hussein's wedding to Ms. Rajwa Al Seif."