In Pictures: Joe Biden's Inauguration Day as he becomes the 46th president of the United States

Joe Biden is inaugurated
Joe Biden is sworn in as the new President of the United States. Credit: AP

Joe Biden has sworn the oath of office to officially become the 46th president of the United States.

It was an Inauguration Day like no other, with Washington DC essentially in lockdown and the absence of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Here are some of the most memorable moments of the historic day in pictures:

  • Preparations

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns of unrest after riots earlier this month, the inauguration ceremony was conducted 'virtually' with fewer guests and tighter security.

As dawn breaks on inauguration day, flags line the National Mall as the Capitol building is lit up. Credit: AP
A law enforcement officer monitors the area at Capitol Hill. Credit: AP
A National Guardsman stands at a road block near the Supreme Court ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP
Fewer guests and spectators were allowed due to social distancing requirements. Credit: AP

A member of the US Army Band before Joe Biden’s inauguration at the US Capitol Credit: Greg Nash/Pool Photo via AP
Joe and Jill Biden and Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff look on at a marching band from the steps of the US Capitol.
Marine One carries Donald Trump over Washington as he leaves the White House Credit: AP/Andrew Harnik
  • The former presidents

Although Mr Trump did not attend the ceremony - the first time an outgoing president did not attend the day in 152 years - all the other former US presidents did attend except for the oldest living president Jimmy Carter.

Mr Carter, 96, stayed at home due to the pandemic but his spokesperson said he sent Mr Biden and Ms Harris his "best wishes" for a "successful administration".

Former president Bill Clinton and his wife, ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton - who lost the 2016 presidential election - arrive. Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP
Former president George W Bush and his wife Laura arrive at the inauguration ceremony. Credit: AP
Trump's predecessor Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for the ceremony. Credit: AP

Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen arrived for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in spite of the absence of Trump who opted to fly to his Florida home before the ceremony.

Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen. Credit: AP
President Donald Trump gestures to supporters en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort. Credit: AP
  • Celebrities and special guests

Pop star Lady Gaga sang the national anthem ahead of Mr Biden being sworn in. Musicians Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks also performed.

Special guests in attendance included poet Amanda Gorman and Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman who held off rioters on January 6.

Joe Biden greets Lady Gaga, who performed the US national anthem during the inauguration Credit: Susan Walsh/APl

The Democrat supporter wore a black and red ballgown decorated with a large gold dove of peace.

Jennifer Lopez sang This Land Is Your Land and America The Beautiful at the ceremony. Credit: AP
Garth Brooks sings Amazing Grace at the ceremony. Credit: AP
American poet Amanda Gorman reads 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration. Credit: AP
Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman arrives at the inauguration ceremony. Credit: AP
  • The swearing in of oaths

Joe and Jill Biden arrive ahead of the swearing of the oaths. Credit: AP
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff arrive. Credit: AP
Kamala Harris takes the oath to serve as Vice President. Credit: AP
Joe Biden uses a family Bible to take the oath. Credit: AP
Joe Biden called on Americans to overcome divisions in his inaugural speech. Credit: AP