Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday has been described as one of the biggest gatherings of royalty and politicians hosted in the United Kingdom for decades as invitations were sent to 500 heads of state and foreign dignitaries.
However, there are criticisms by UK’s Members of Parliament (MPs) and also around the world as an invitation sent to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
BBC reports, Monday, that Jinping received an invitation to grace the state funeral of the late monarch, despite his support to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine. But it is not certain if he or his people will attend.
The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth takes place at Westminster Abbey, London, England.
Royal family and friends
All members of the royal family including the Queen’s grandchildren – including Princes William and Harry, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara Tindall, Peter Phillips, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn – are expected too, along with their husbands and wives.
Among the others expected are Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, the late Queen’s godson and William and Harry’s uncle; Prince and Princess Michael of Kent; and the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
Friends and employees of the Queen are expected to grace the funeral.
Also, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain have also accepted an invitation, as have the royal families of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Monaco.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan will attend, as well as the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk. Other expected guests include the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah; Jordan’s King Abdullah; Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah; King of Lesotho, Letsie III; and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein.
Royal leaders from Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Tonga are expected.
Commonwealth and world leaders
Leaders from across the Commonwealth, of which the Queen served as head for the entirety of her reign, will also attend. Also, other world leaders like German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart, President Sergio Mattarell are invited.
Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo also graced the occasion.
President Joe Biden has arrived in London late Saturday and will attend along with First Lady Jill Biden – although, unlike other dignitaries, they are understood not to be travelling to the service by bus.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince – and de facto ruler – Mohammed Bin Salman was invited, but he is not expected to attend the funeral, Reuters reported on Sunday.
Prince Mohammed was accused of ordering the killing, and Hatice Cengiz – who was engaged to Mr Khashoggi – said the prince “should not be allowed to stain [the Queen’s] memory and use this time mourning to seek legitimacy and normalisation”.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, long the subject of international sanctions over its nuclear programme, will be represented only at the ambassadorial level, Whitehall sources said.
Sudan’s military leader, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has also accepted an invitation issued despite concerns about the human rights record of his government.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is among those not invited. Also representatives from Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan have not been invited.
No one from Russia, Belarus and Myanmar has been invited either.
Diplomatic relations between the UK and Russia have all but collapsed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “not considering” attending the funeral.