After a long wait (and a rocky end to Trump’s term in office), Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States today. He will be sworn in alongside Kamala Harris, who will become the Vice President – the first woman, African-American and Asian-American to hold the role.
Despite the violent events of 6 January, in which a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol during a session to count the Electoral College vote, the inauguration will still take place in Washington DC today.
In preparation for the event, 25,000 soldiers have been deployed to protect both Biden and Harris as they are sworn into office. We’ll also see performances from Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez – though there will be no appearance from Donald Trump.
If you’d like to watch the ceremony as it takes place, there’s plenty of options available. We’ve rounded up all the ways you can watch on broadcast TV and online.
What time will the 2021 presidential inauguration take place?
As is tradition, the actual ceremony will take place two months after the election, which is today, 20 January 2021.
If you’re not bothered about any of the build-up towards the ceremony, the event itself will start at 11:30am EST (local time for Washington DC). For UK viewers, this is 4:30pm GMT for the ceremony start.
Before Biden is sworn in, we will have a performance of the national anthem by Lady Gaga, and Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
After Biden is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, he’ll deliver his inaugural address to the crowd of spectators.
Once this is all done, both Biden and Harris will take on various traditions such as the Pass in Review and the Arlington National Cemetery visit before finally returning to the White House for a night of celebration.
Due to COVID restrictions, there won’t be a large ball, and we expect performances and gatherings to all be socially distanced.
How to watch the US presidential inauguration online
There are quite a few options for tuning into the inauguration via YouTube. You can check out this playlist, which has all the upcoming livestreams from the main US news channels, as well the stream directly from the Biden and Harris team. We have embedded the latter below for easy viewing:
You can also stream the event from one of the US news channels such as ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC. However, many of these are geo-blocked, so you’ll need a VPN such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN. You can read more about how VPNs work here.
How to watch the presidential inauguration on TV
Both BBC One and ITV will be covering the main event. Here’s when these will be happening, and what the titles of the programmes are:
- BBC One, 4pm until 6pm – BBC News Special
- ITV, 3:30pm until 6pm – President Biden: The Inauguration