World Leaders Asked To Take Commercial Flights, Bus To Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral: Report


Foreign leaders attending Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on September 19 have been issued a slew of strict protocols by the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Foreign leaders have been asked to arrive in Britain on commercial flights and take laid-on buses to reach the service, according to a report in Politico. Around 500 foreign dignitaries are expected to attend Britain’s first state funeral in nearly six decades, AFP reported.

Protocols To Be Followed

All foreign heads of state and their spouses planning to travel to London for the state funeral have reportedly been asked to arrive on commercial flights rather than private jets and have also been asked not to use helicopters as a mode of transportation, according to Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) documents obtained by Politico.

They have been instructed not to use their state-owned cars to arrive at the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. They will be transported by escorted private buses to the abbey from a site in west London. The ceremony is scheduled to happen at 11am, local time.

The FCDO “regrets that, because of limited space at the state funeral service and associated events, no other members of the principal guest’s family, staff or entourage may be admitted”, the report said.

The state funeral, the first since that of former prime minister Winston Churchill in 1965, will be one of the biggest security and logistical operations Britain has ever staged.

US President Joe Biden, who officially accepted the invitation to the funeral on Monday, is unlikely to cede the security and privacy offered by the presidential transport of Air Force One traditional.

US Presidents then use their Marine One helicopter and an armored limousine dubbed “The Beast” to get around.

In the event that a head of state is unable to attend, another official representative, such as the head of government or a senior minister, may be chosen.

A few other foreign leaders have also confirmed their attendance. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, are also expected to attend.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, and Spain’s King Felipe VI are all anticipated to attend the service.

The FCDO papers cited by “Politico” stated that King Charles III would allegedly hold a reception at Buckingham Palace in London on Sunday evening before the funeral ceremony for all foreign heads of state.

Heads of state from other countries will also be allowed to sign the condolence book at Lancaster House in London when the Queen’s body is laid to rest. The distinguished guests will have the opportunity to pay a brief tribute to the late Queen when they are at Lancaster House.

The leaders will be led to Dean’s Yard within the grounds of Westminster Abbey following the burial ceremony on Monday in order to attend a reception given by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.


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