A guest list of 500 royals and foreign heads of government meet in London ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday.
So far, world leaders spotted in London include U.S. President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese and Japanese Emperor Naruhito.
Every country with diplomatic ties to the United Kingdom received an invitation to the Queen’s funeral, with some notable exceptions, like Russia, Belarus and Myanmar, who weren’t extended an invitation due to human rights abuses and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will not be able to make it, his wife Olena Zelenska is expected to make an appearance.
Although the heads of government for Iran, Nicaragua and North Korea were not invited, the nations’ ambassadors were, and will be in attendance.
“The thing that I will take away from this period is just the beauty of the public’s response, the kindness that you see from members of the public, the patience, the camaraderie, that has been, for me, the most moving tribute of all, has been the public response of the British people,” Prime Minister Ardern said.
Biden is expected to pay tribute at Westminster Hall on Sunday before attending a reception at Buckingham Palace in the evening, hosted by the new monarch, King Charles III. King Charles has a busy schedule on Sunday; the new king plans to meet with the new U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss at 12:15 pm (local time) before meeting with the leaders of the Commonwealth at 1:00 pm.
BBC said that the current wait time to pay their respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall is as long as 13 hours, with the line spanning over five miles. The lying-in-state will end on Monday at 6:30 BST, as the Queen’s coffin needs to be transported to Westminster Abbey for the funeral.
A moment of silence will be held across the United Kingdom at 8pm local time. Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, after reigning for 70 years.
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