Why Prince Charles Is Attending President George H.W. Bush's Funeral Instead of the Queen

Prince Charles (L) and former US President George
POOLGetty Images

On Friday evening, former President George H.W. Bush passed away at 94 years old. Leaders from all over the world will fly to Washington, D.C. to celebrate his life on December 5, including one major member of the royal family—and it's not the Queen.

In an incredibly rare move, Prince Charles will travel to the States and attend Bush's funeral in place of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Clarence House announced the news in the following statement:

"The Prince of Wales will attend the state funeral of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. The service will take place tomorrow at The National Cathedral in Washington. The Prince will be representing Her Majesty The Queen."

President Bush and the Queen had a special bond when she became the first British monarch to visit Texas in 1991. When he died, she immediately released the following statement on the royal family website:

“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of President George H W Bush last night. President Bush was a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom. He was also a patriot, serving his country with honor and distinction in Office and during the Second World War. Prince Philip and I remember our days in Texas in 1991 with great fondness. My thoughts and prayers are with President Bush’s family and the American people.”

Here she is visiting the 41st president in 1991:

Queen Elizabeth Visits USA
John Shelley Collection/AvalonGetty Images

And again in 2007:

Royalty - Queen Elizabeth II State Visit to the United States of America
Fiona Hanson - PA ImagesGetty Images

Clearly, the Queen isn't the only royal who has had a close relationship with the Bush's over the years. Prince Charles frequently visited President Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush with his late ex wife Princess Diana, so it makes sense that Charles would be the one person in the royal family to attend in her place.

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Embassy Party
Prince Charles, Princess Diana, President George H.W. Bush, and First Lady Barbara Bush at a dinner at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. November 1985.
Princess Diana ArchiveGetty Images

The Queen hasn't been back to America since 2007.

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