Jill Biden and Finnegan Biden wear Ukrainian flag colours as they celebrate coronation with afternoon tea

First Lady Jill Biden and her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, attended the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6 May at Westminster Abbey in London. However, it was their yellow and blue outfits that turned heads, as many people believed the fashion choice was a potential tribute to Ukraine.

Dr Biden represented the United States at King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation. The university professor was also joined by her 23-year-old granddaughter, Finnegan, as her plus one for the historic event.

The first lady arrived at Westminster Abbey on Saturday in a cornflower blue suit set by Ralph Lauren, according to Vogue. The outfit featured a crossover neckline top over a pencil skirt, which she paired with matching suede gloves and a small fascinator. The second eldest daughter of Hunter Biden also attended the service in a pastel yellow gown by Markarian.

Many people on social media noted how the grandmother-granddaughter duo appeared to be wearing the colours of the Ukrainian flag, a potential nod to America’s continuing support for Ukraine more than one year after Russia’s invasion. They were even sat next to Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska during the coronation service.

“This is a wonderful nod of support to Ukraine, and they are sitting with Ukraine’s First Lady,” commented one person under Vogue’s Instagram post of the pair.

“They both look gorgeous! Love that it’s the Ukraine colours too!” wrote someone else.

“Perfect Ukrainian nod. Brilliant use of colour to make a point,” a third person said.

The first lady emphasised her support for Ukraine just one day before the coronation, when she shared a picture of herself posing with the Princess of Wales and the Ukrainian first lady.

“Lovely to see @FLOTUS and @ZelenskaUA this evening,” the official account of the Prince and Princess of Wales tweeted on 5 May. “We stand with Ukraine,” Dr Biden said in response.

First lady Jill Biden told the Associated Press that she and her granddaughter sat down for some afternoon tea together after the service, in line with British tradition. She added the coronation “was just amazing” to witness and that it was an “honour” to attend the royal ceremony.

“You can’t imagine that moment where you actually see the crown being placed on the head of the king and then on the head of the queen,” Dr Biden said. “It’s really surreal to see and experience that moment.”

“It was so meaningful to me that I could bring Finnegan here, that we could travel together and experience this together and it’s meant a lot to both of us.”

The first lady also recalled the conversation she shared with the Princess of Wales the night before, during King Charles’ reception for foreign visitors at Buckingham Palace on Friday evening. The grandmother of seven explained that Princess Kate was considering feeding her children – specifically, Prince Louis – candy to keep them quiet during the coronation.

First Lady Jill Biden and her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, during a reception at Buckingham Palace with the Princess of Wales (Getty Images)
First Lady Jill Biden and her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, during a reception at Buckingham Palace with the Princess of Wales (Getty Images)

“[The Princess of Wales] said she didn’t know if her son could sit still for two hours and we just had a good laugh over it,” Dr Biden told the AP. “It’s just something, I think, that’s common to a lot of us.”

First lady Jill Biden’s appearance at the coronation of King Charles III comes after US President Joe Biden received criticism for sending his wife in his place. Former president Donald Trump hit out at Biden for his “disrespectful” decision to not attend the service. “I was surprised when I heard that he wasn’t coming,” said Trump. “I think it’s very disrespectful for him not to be there.”

No American president has ever attended a British coronation. Instead, the White House confirmed that Biden would travel to the UK for a state visit in “the near future”.

Follow for live updates from the coronation.