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Who’s invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral – and who’s not

Hundreds of foreign royals and heads of state are expected to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London for one of the biggest diplomatic gatherings in decades.

Westminster Abbey has space for about 2,000 people, with about 500 heads of state and foreign dignitaries expected.

Also attending Britain’s first state funeral for six decades will be the Queen’s family, courtiers, public figures and UK politicians.

World royalty

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will attend, making their first overseas trip since assuming the throne in 2019.

King Harald V of Norway, Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Philippe, King of the Belgians, will attend.

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, who scrapped a series of events marking her 50th jubilee after the death of her third cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, is also coming.

Spain’s King Felipe VI will be there with his wife Queen Letizia. So too will his father, the former king Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in disgrace in 2014 and lives in self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates.

Although Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and its de facto ruler, had been invited, it emerged late on Sunday that he would not be attending. There has been international outrage at the 2018 murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey by Saudi agents.

State leaders

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Joe Biden of the US
South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Joe Biden of the US will be attending the Queen’s funeral on Monday. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
The US president, Joe Biden, and his wife, Jill, who flew into Britain on Saturday, head the diplomatic guest list.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will attend, the Élysée Palace said, to show the “unbreakable” bond with Britain and pay respects to the “eternal queen”.

The authoritarian presidents Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil are also coming.

China will send its vice-president, Wang Qishan, at the UK government’s invitation.

Despite Britain’s split from the EU, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, and the European Council head, Charles Michel, will go as well.

Other heads of state at the funeral will include presidents Sergio Mattarella of Italy, Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Isaac Herzog of Israel and Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea.

In a symbolic move to pay tribute to the Queen, whose 2011 state visit to the Republic of Ireland helped heal decades of tensions over Northern Ireland’s position in the UK, the Irish taoiseach, Micheál Martin, will be present.

Commonwealth countries

Numerous leaders will come from countries where Queen Elizabeth was the head of state. They include the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese, and the New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern.

Leaders will also come from other states in the 56-country Commonwealth, of which Queen Elizabeth was the symbolic figurehead.

They include the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, Bangladesh’s PM, Sheikh Hasina, the Sri Lankan president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the Fijian PM, Frank Bainimarama.

Not invited

Owing to strained ties, the UK has opted to invite ambassadors, not heads of state, from several countries, including Iran, Nicaragua and North Korea.

Russia and Belarus are among a small group of countries excluded after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin – subject to a travel ban to the UK due to sanctions – had said he would not attend.

Russia and Belarus have embassies in London and their presidents sent King Charles III messages of condolences.

Other countries not invited are Myanmar, Syria, Venezuela and the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

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