US inauguration live: Joe Biden sworn in as US president

Mr Biden has become the 46th president of the United States.

US inauguration live: Joe Biden sworn in as US president

Joe Biden has become the 46th president of the United States after taking the oath of office at the US Capitol in Washington.

Flouting tradition, Donald Trump departed Washington on Wednesday morning ahead of the inauguration rather than accompany his successor to the Capitol.

At the age of 78, Mr Biden is the oldest president inaugurated, while Kamala Harris has become the first woman to be vice president. She is also the first black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency.

Here’s the latest from Washington:

5.30pm

Mr Biden used his inaugural address to call for unity in America, saying: “This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward and we must meet this moment as the United States of America.”

President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington
President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington (Patrick Semansk/AP/Pool)

Irish premier Micheal Martin referenced Joe Biden’s Irish heritage as he congratulated the new US president on his “immense achievement”.

Mr Martin said: “On behalf of the Government and people of Ireland, I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to president Joe Biden on his inauguration.

“As he takes the oath of office, I know that President Biden will feel the weight of history – the presence of his Irish ancestors who left Mayo and Louth in famine times in search of life and hope.

“He will remember their descendants’ hard struggle as they made their way in and their contribution to the United States. It is the story of Irish-America.

“I hope he will also be conscious of the great pride we in Ireland take in his immense achievement. He is one of us, part of our global family.”

5.19pm

Followed by a kiss from wife Jill:

President Joe Biden kisses first lady Jill Biden, as his son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden, look on after being sworn in during the 59th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington
President Joe Biden kisses first lady Jill Biden, as his son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden look on, after being sworn in at the US Capitol in Washington (Andrew Harnik/AP/Pool)

The historic moment Joe Biden took the oath of office to become US president:

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible at the US Capitol in Washington
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible at the US Capitol in Washington (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Mr Biden pledged that he will be a “president for all Americans” and will “fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did”.

He added: “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue.”

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden shared their joy after her swearing in as vice president.

Joe Biden congratulates Kamala Harris after she was sworn in as vice president
Joe Biden congratulates Kamala Harris after she was sworn in as vice president (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

5.02pm

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also shared her congratulations.

4.59pm

Mr Biden called on Americans to overcome divisions, declaring that “without unity, there is no peace”.

Kamala Harris with Joe Biden at the US Capitol in Washington
Kamala Harris with Joe Biden at the US Capitol in Washington (Andrew Harnik/AP/Pool)

Joe Biden said “this is America’s day” and “democracy’s day” as he delivered his first speech as president of the United States.

He added: “Democracy has prevailed.”

4.54pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he looks forward to working with Joe Biden as he congratulated him on his “historic” inauguration.

4.51pm

Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

4.46pm

Ms Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court.

Her predecessor Mike Pence, standing in for Donald Trump, was sitting nearby as Lady Gaga sang the national anthem accompanied by the US Marine Corps band.

Vice president Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff
Vice president Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff (Patrick Semansky/AP/Pool)

Kamala Harris has been sworn in as US vice president, breaking historic gender and racial barriers in American politics.

4.34pm

Joe Biden found time for a quick fist bump with former president Barack Obama, who he served as vice president.

Joe Biden is greeted by former president Barack Obama
Joe Biden is greeted by former president Barack Obama (Patrick Semansky/AP/Pool)

4.30pm

Kamala Harris is making history as the first woman, first black person and first person of South Asian descent to be elected to the vice presidency.

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, arrive for the 59th presidential inauguration
Vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff at the Capitol ahead of the swearing-in ceremony (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Security is tight at the event.

A law enforcement personnel monitors the area during the 59th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington
A law enforcement officer monitors the area during the 59th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington (Susan Walsh/AP/Pool)

Soon-to-be vice president Kamala Harris has tweeted:

4.24pm

Earlier, a number of former US presidents arrived for the ceremony.

Former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle
Barack Obama and his wife Michelle (Patrick Semansky/AP/Pool)
Former president George W Bush and his wife Laura
George W Bush and his wife Laura (Andrew Harnik/AP)

US president-elect Joe Biden has arrived on the platform at the US Capitol for his swearing-in ceremony with his wife Jill.

4.20pm

Vice president Mike Pence has arrived at the inauguration of Joe Biden.

Mr Pence and his wife Karen were announced at inaugural festivities at the US Capitol about one hour ahead of Mr Biden’s expected swearing-in ceremony.

Vice president Mike Pence arrives at the inauguration of Joe Biden on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington
Mike Pence arrives at the inauguration of Joe Biden on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have arrived at the US Capitol in Washington.

President-elect Joe Biden, his wife Jill, vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff on the steps of the US Capitol for the start of the official inauguration ceremonies, in Washington
Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, left, and Joe Biden and his wife Jill, on the steps of the US Capitol (J Scott Applewhite/AP)

Joe Biden and his wife Jill, as well as vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, attended Mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle as part of the Inauguration Day ceremonies in Washington.

Earlier, Joe Biden and his wife Jill attended Mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle during Inauguration Day ceremonies in Washington - vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff are to the left
Joe Biden and his wife Jill at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle, with Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff to the left (Evan Vucci/AP)

Donald Trump did follow at least one presidential tradition, with the White House saying the Republican president left behind a note for his successor, Democrat Joe Biden.

Deputy press secretary Judd Deere declined to reveal what Mr Trump wrote to Mr Biden or to characterise the sentiment in the note, citing privacy for communication between presidents.

2.20pm

In a departure from tradition, Donald Trump departed Washington ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration rather than accompany his successor to the US Capitol.

Outgoing US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
Outgoing US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
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