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King Charles hosts world leaders before the Queen’s funeral

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LONDON (Reuters) – Presidents, prime ministers and monarchs from around the world travel to London over the weekend to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth and attend a reception at Buckingham Palace that will be hosted by King Charles the day before her funeral. .

US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are among the distinguished guests from abroad who have confirmed they will attend. Read more

A senior Buckingham Palace official said heads of state and other foreign dignitaries would be asked to meet at the Royal Hospital, a retirement and care home for veterans in west London, and would “travel under collective arrangements to Westminster Abbey”.

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The funeral will be one of the biggest policing events in British history as world leaders, kings and queens and huge crowds from home and abroad descend on London for the event.

King Charles and Camilla, the Queen’s consort, will hold a reception at Buckingham Palace on Sunday, the official state event before the funeral.

Foreign dignitaries who come to Britain will also be invited to visit Queen’s Lying in State inside the Westminster Hall of Parliament before the funeral.

“The death of Her Majesty the Queen has left on many continents a deep sense of loss,” said Earl Marshall Edward Fitzalan Howard, Duke of Norfolk, England’s most senior peer in charge of state events.

“Our goal and belief is that the state funeral and events of the next few days will unite people around the world.”

Immediately after the funeral on Monday, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will host a reception for guests at the nearby Church House, where members of the royal family will head to Windsor to bury the Queen.

uninvited

Invitations were sent by Britain to the heads of state of almost every country in the world except for Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Russia, Belarus and Myanmar.

Syria and Venezuela were not invited because Britain does not have diplomatic relations with those countries at the moment. A source said Afghanistan was not invited due to the current political situation.

Russia and Belarus were not invited to send any representatives due to the invasion of Ukraine.

In total, State Department officials handwritten about 1,000 invitations to the funeral and reception with King Charles on Sunday.

The deadline for accepting funeral invitations passes Thursday, after which officials will finalize the seating plan.

A group of British lawmakers who have been sanctioned by China have criticized the decision to invite the Chinese government to the funeral.

They demanded that representatives of China be barred from entering the Palace of Westminster, where the Queen’s body lies in the state, after parliament voted last year to declare the treatment of the Muslim Uighur community in Xinjiang a genocide.

The British government will not provide a guest list of all foreign leaders who will attend, partly for security reasons.

A government official said transportation arrangements were being finalized, as well as the final seating plan.

Members of royal families in several European countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands, have said they will travel to pay their respects.

Among the politicians who will also attend are European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and India’s President Draupadi Murmo.

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(Additional reporting by Andrew McCaskill and William James; Editing by William MacLean)

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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