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The Independent

Queen’s funeral: No invites for Russia, Belarus or Myanmar



Invites to the Queen’s state funeral haven’t been despatched to Russia, Belarus or Myanmar, whereas Iran will solely be represented at an ambassadorial degree, Whitehall sources have stated.

The occasion will see round 500 dignitaries from world wide descend on London to pay their final respects to the long-reigning monarch.

They’ll be a part of members of the royal household, UK prime ministers previous and current, and key figures from public life at Westminster Abbey – the historic church which might maintain round 2,000 individuals – at 11am subsequent Monday.

“That is the largest worldwide occasion we now have hosted in many years,” a Whitehall supply stated.

The supply in contrast the logistical activity to organising “tons of of state visits” inside a matter of days. Usually, there may solely be two or three a 12 months.

It presents an enormous logistical, diplomatic and safety problem, with observe runs happening at midnight.

Invites had been despatched over the weekend to the heads of state of countries with which the UK has diplomatic relations. For many nations, meaning the top of state plus one visitor.

Nonetheless, invitations weren’t dispatched to the leaders of Russia – which is continuous its onslaught on Ukraine, Belarus – which has supported its neighbour within the invasion, and Myanmar – the place the navy seized energy in a coup final 12 months.

No visitor checklist has been printed but, however US President Joe Biden was among the many first to declare he can be flying in together with his spouse, Jill.

Joe Biden will attend the funeral (Chris Jackson/PA)

(PA Wire)

The leaders of most Commonwealth nations are anticipated to attend, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying she’s going to make the almost 24-hour journey with a delegation of 5 others.

Her Canadian and Australian counterparts, Justin Trudeau and Anthony Albanese, have additionally confirmed their presence.

Mr Albanese introduced that he is not going to be travelling alone, tweeting that at Buckingham Palace’s invitation, he and Governor-Basic David Hurley can be accompanied by “10 Australians who’ve made extraordinary contributions to their communities”.

France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italy’s Sergio Mattarella, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro are among the many presidents attending, together with the European Fee’s Ursula von der Leyen.

King Felipe of Spain and his spouse, Queen Letizia, are among the many European royals who will attend.

Emperor Naruhito of Japan can also be anticipated to journey to London in what can be his first abroad journey since ascending the throne in 2019.

The visitor checklist for the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service may present an concept of who else may come. The 1,800-strong congregation featured round 30 international royals, together with Prince Albert of Monaco, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, and King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway.

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

However it isn’t thought the journey can be made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who took trip from organising his nation’s fightback in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces to signal a ebook of condolence for the Queen.

Arrival occasions will fluctuate from chief to chief, Downing Avenue stated.

Liz Truss shouldn’t be anticipated to carry any “formal” bilateral conferences with world leaders throughout the mourning interval, however “there could also be casual conversations that happen”, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson stated.

Former Tory chief Lord Hague stated that whereas there’ll “in fact” be diplomacy surrounding the funeral, that isn’t the principle focus.

“After all there may be some diplomacy – you may’t have that variety of individuals collectively from world wide with out them beginning to say ‘Effectively, what do you suppose is occurring in Ukraine?’,” he informed Occasions Radio.

“Nonetheless, they’re coming as a result of they wish to pay their respects to this extraordinary head of state. And that’s what 90% of it will likely be about.”

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Liz Truss depart Westminster Corridor after each Homes of Parliament expressed their condolences following the Queen’s dying (Leon Neal/PA)

(PA Wire)

Downing Avenue on Monday refused to touch upon stories that world leaders visiting London for the Queen’s funeral have been requested to journey on industrial flights and can be bussed to Westminster Abbey.

“Preparations for leaders, together with how they journey, will fluctuate relying on particular person circumstances,” the spokesman stated, including that “the steerage and data supplied is steerage”.

Mr Biden is known to have dispensation to make use of the closely armoured presidential automobile referred to as the Beast, whereas most different leaders should take a shared coach to the Abbey from west London.

The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Corridor from Wednesday to Monday, when her coffin can be taken in procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service.

Lots of of 1000’s of individuals are anticipated to line the streets of the capital throughout the funeral.

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