Who is on the guest list for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral?


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CNN

When Queen Elizabeth II receives a state funeral at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday, it will be one of the greatest diplomatic occasions of the century.

World leaders, politicians, public figures and European royals, as well as more than 500 dignitaries from around the world, will descend on London to pay their last respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, who died Thursday at the age of 96.

Although no official guest list has been published yet, invitations have been sent out.

US President Joe Biden was among the first to confirm that he will be attending the event, which will be attended by up to 2,000 people.

“I don’t know the details yet, but I will go,” Biden told reporters on Friday.

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and South Korean Yoon Suk Yeol are among the presidents attending the Queen’s final farewell after a series of ceremonial events.

The UK’s newly elected Prime Minister, Liz Truss, will also mourn the monarch next week.

Leaders from most Commonwealth countries are expected, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese making the nearly 24-hour journey.

“I would, of course, prioritize, alongside the Governor General, to do our duty by representing New Zealand and conveying the condolences of our entire nation,” Ardern told TVNZ on Friday. “I expect there will be some leaders who want to pay respect and pay tribute to the Queen,” she added.

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako travel to London for the Queen’s funeral, an unusual move that demonstrates the close relationship between the Japanese and British royal families.

The Japanese news channel Asahi Shimbun reported, citing officials of the Imperial Household Agency, that a Japanese emperor has attended the funeral of a foreign head of state or a member of the royal family only once before, when then-Emperor Akihito attended the funeral of the king. Belgian King Baudouin attended in 1993.

Members of foreign royal families will also sit in the pews on Monday.

Spain’s King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia are among the European royals who will be in attendance.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands, together with former Queen Beatrix, who resigned in 2013, will also be present in the congregation, the Dutch royal family announced.

Jordanian King Abdullah II, who remembered the queen as an “iconic leader” and “beacon of wisdom and principled leadership” will also attend her funeral.

However, not all world leaders are invited.

According to British news agency PA Media, Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan are three of the countries that have not been asked to send a representative.

Representatives from North Korea and Nicaragua have been invited “at the ambassadorial level only,” PA added.

The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar will also be absent.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin has tweeted his congratulations on King Charles III’s accession to the throne, diplomatic relations between the UK and Russia have all but collapsed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a senior British government source told CNN on Tuesday.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally of President Putin.

Myanmar will not be invited after a coup in the country last year.

Following the funeral, Queen Elizabeth II will be buried in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, where her parents, her sister, Princess Margaret, and her husband, Prince Philip, are also buried.

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