Beginning Saturday evening, leaders from across the world began converging in London to attend the funeral of the recently deceased British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, scheduled to take place on Monday, Spetember 19.
Watch: Man rushes up to coffin at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and tries to pull down royal banner; arrested
Among those in attendance were President Droupadi Murmu, who arrived in London late Saturday evening to offer condolences on behalf of the Indian government, and US President Joe Biden, who arrived on Sunday morning.
President Droupadi Murmu arrives in London to attend the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. pic.twitter.com/T6zWlJGkYB
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) September 17, 2022
On September 8, at the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral Castle, in the Scottish highlands. Her funeral tomorrow will be held in London’s famous Westminster Abbey.
Watching Biden arrive in London in The Beast, along with the rest of his motorcade, through the streets of Tottenham #ferrylane #tottenhamhale pic.twitter.com/D9BumG2P5R
— Alex Kelly (@Alex_M_Kelly) September 17, 2022
Aside from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, other Commonwealth leaders expected to attend include Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Italian President Sergio Mattarella are among the other world leaders expected to attend, in addition to members of royal families from across Europe.
The event has seen its fair share of controversy and geopolitical intrigue.
British media reported that the invitation extended to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had generated controversy, with some claiming that it was an insult to the Queen’s legacy. Prince Salman is accused of orchestrating the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018.
Prince Salman has denied the charge, and the Saudi government has blamed the killing on rogue elements within Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service.
In addition, while Chinese President Xi Jinping was invited, Beijing has instead chosen to send Vice President Wang Qishan to represent China.
Representatives from Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan have not been invited. Iran, North Korea (DPRK) and Nicaragua have only been invited to send ambassadors, rather than heads of state.