‘Madam Vice-President, Madam Speaker’

For the first time in US history, the two people seated behind the president as he delivered his address were women.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, and Vice-President Kamala Harris, who served as a California senator before Mr Biden made her his running mate, flanked the president throughout the speech, looking over Mr Biden’s shoulders.

As he greeted the two as “Madam Vice-President, Madam Speaker,” Mr Biden added: “No president has ever said those words from this podium – no president has ever said those words, and it’s about time!”