Putin among few world leaders not invited to Queen’s funeral

Nearly 500 world leaders and dignitaries are expected in London for Monday’s funeral service

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Tuesday 13 September 2022 12:18 BST

Queen Elizabeth II to lie in state in London: Everything you need to know

Russia is among just three countries that will not receive a single invite to Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on Monday, Whitehall sources have said.

Representatives of Belarus have also not been invited to the funeral after the country supported its close neighbour and ally Russia in the invasion of Ukraine.

And Myanmar, a former British colony now ruled by generals after a military coup in February last year, makes up the third country shunned.

Iran, meanwhile, has received an invite from the foreign office but is expected to “only be represented at an ambassadorial level”.

In one of the largest diplomatic gatherings in decades, nearly 500 foreign dignitaries are due to join the bereaved royal family in London to pay their last respects to Britain's longest-serving monarch.

They will join the royals and other senior figures of British society including former and present UK prime ministers at Westminister Abbey at 11am on Monday for the service.

"This is the biggest international event we have hosted in decades," a Whitehall source told PA news agency, likening it to organising “hundreds” of state visits all at once.

US president Joe Biden was among the first world leaders to declare he would be attending the service, after confirming that he had been invited by the UK foreign office alongside first lady Jill Biden. However, in a departure from tradition, that will be the full extent of the US delegation, with former presidents including Donald Trump not invited.

The leaders of most Commonwealth nations are expected to mark their presence on 19 September. New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that she would make the nearly 24-hour journey on Wednesday with governor-general Dame Cindy Kiro to be in time for the funeral.

French president Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italian president Sergio Mattarella, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro have said they will travel to attend the funeral service.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese have also confirmed their presence. Mr Albanese said he and governor-general David Hurley will be travelling with 10 Australians who have made “extraordinary contributions to their communities".

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU, is also expected to be in attendance.

Spain’s King Felipe and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito are among royals that are reportedly planning to fly to the UK for the funeral. Members of the royal families in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are also expected to travel to London, although further details have yet to be confirmed.

The Queen died on 8 September in Balmoral, Scotland, aged 96 after serving for 70 years as Britain’s head of the state. Her coffin arrived on Sunday at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, following a six-hour journey from Balmoral, and was due to lie in state in Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral for 24 hours up to 5pm on Tuesday.

Her coffin was set to be flown to London later on Tuesday to spend the night at Buckingham Palace, before travelling to Westminster Hall where the Queen will lie in state for five days until her funeral.

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