Vice President Kamala Harris dressed to impress at the first state dinner held by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden since his inauguration. The Vice President arrived at the White House on December 1 for the star-studded dinner wearing a one-shouldered black dress. The top portion of the gown featured sparkles that twinkled in the light.
Vice President Harris didn’t walk the carpet ahead of the state dinner. Houston mayor Sylvester Turner posed with Kamala as the festivities unfolded. He posted a series of photos, one of Kamala, on his Instagram page.
The grand event was marked as an effort to revitalize U.S. ties with France, as both President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, First Lady Brigitte Macron, were in attendance. When asked why he chose Macron as his first guest for a state dinner, President Biden answered, “Because he is my friend,” according to the BBC. Jill later added, “We hope that the French citizens everywhere feel the warmth of our welcome. May our friendship grow stronger, our ties deeper, and our futures brighter as we deepen our partnership.”
Both U.S. and French officials said Vice President Harris was eager to meet with Macron during his visit to continue to develop a relationship with the French leader, per CNN. The pair also joined up to discuss their respective country’s space programs. They even visited NASA headquarters the day before the state dinner to discuss America’s commitment to place astronauts back on the moon following the 1972 lunar landing. According to a Twitter video, Emmanuel suggested the next human to take a giant leap for mankind to be French, as he told Kamala, “I have a candidate for you for flying to the moon.”
Meanwhile, the heated tent on the South Lawn provided room for the 300 to 400 guests, who tucked into a menu of caviar, live lobsters, and sparkling wine, according to the BBC. The state dinner also featured a live musical performance from Jon Batiste, the former musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The state dinner has been a tradition since 1874 when King David Kalakua of the Kingdom of Hawaii was welcomed to the White House by President Ulysses Grant. The event continued to be hosted under most of the presidents since 1874. The last state dinner was held in 2019 by then-President Donald Trump, where he hosted leaders from Australia.