Hundreds of foreign royals and leaders will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral in London on Monday in the biggest diplomatic gathering in decades. Westminster Abbey has room for about 2,000 people. So only the head of state and one or two guests have reportedly been invited to Britain’s first state funeral in six decades.
It has also been reported that some countries have not been invited to the funeral due to political considerations.
Among the invitees are important members of the world royal family. European royals and world leaders have confirmed their attendance at the funeral of one of the longest reigning monarchs in Britain’s history.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been invited to the Queen’s funeral. No leaders from Russia, Belarus, Myanmar and North Korea were invited.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan will arrive. This is their first foreign visit after assuming the throne in 2019. Several kings of Europe will also be given on the occasion. Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Crown Princess Beatrix, King Philippe of the Belgians, King Harald V of Norway and Prince Albert II of Monaco will all attend.
Denmark’s Queen Margrethe canceled a series of events to mark her 50th birthday following the death of her third cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who is also coming up.
Spain’s King Philip VI will also be there, as will his father, former King Juan Carlos. He resigned in disgrace in 2014 and is now in self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates.
Apart from the royal family, world leaders have been invited. US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden top the diplomatic guest list, the White House has confirmed.
French President Emmanuel Macron will also attend. Also visiting are Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. Despite the issue of Britain’s Brexit from the European Union, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and European Council chief Charles Michel will also attend.
Other heads of state at the funeral will include Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Israel’s Isaac Herzog and Korea’s Yoon Suk-yeol. Ireland’s Taoiseach, Prime Minister Michael Martin will also attend.
Leaders of 56 Commonwealth countries have also been invited. Also attending will be top leaders from countries that still regard Elizabeth II as their monarch.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who have the British sovereign as head of state, are all scheduled to arrive.
Leaders from the Commonwealth will come mainly from former British colonies. These include South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.
Those who are not invited
Russia and Belarus were not invited to the Queen’s funeral because of Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine, a British government source said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is under a travel ban in the UK due to sanctions. He has already said that he will not attend the event.
But not inviting a Russian representative to the queen’s funeral was ‘particularly insulting to the memory of Elizabeth II’ and ‘deeply immoral’, Moscow’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.
Military-ruled Myanmar and North Korea have also been excluded from the event, the British source said on condition of anonymity.