The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which will take place next Monday, will be attended by about 500 dignitaries from around the world. But there are three countries that have not received invitations to participate in the celebrations: Russia, Belarus and Myanmar.
The UK has been on the same wavelength with Western allies in isolating Russia and Belarus (a Kremlin ally) and in imposing economic sanctions on the two countries because of the war in Ukraine. Myanmar has also come under sanctions from the United Kingdom, which supports the Rohingya community in Southeast Asia.
Over the weekend, invitations were sent out to the leaders of most of the countries with which the UK maintains diplomatic relations. The British government emphasizes that the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is “the largest international event”, which has been organized in the country for decades. Typically, the UK only hosts two or three heads of state a year, but hundreds will be in London next week, which presents a major logistical, diplomatic and, above all, security challenge.
One of the first guests to confirm their presence was US President Joe Biden, who will be accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden. Also President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, already confirmed presence at the event, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joao Gomes Cravinho. There are also those who have to travel nearly 24 hours to be present: this is the case of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who also confirmed her presence.
The invitations that have been sent out to heads of state allow everyone to bring their spouses or partners. If they are unable to attend, they may appoint a head of government or a minister to represent them at the ceremony.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will be held at Westminster Abbey, where the body of the monarch will remain in a burning chamber for several days, so that the public has the opportunity to pay their respects. September 19 will become a national holiday by decree of King Charles III.
For everything to go well, it is necessary to follow the protocol: the heads of foreign states received the rules for participating in the funeral of the monarch. One of the rules introduced is that world leaders must choose commercial flights that will be allowed to land at Heathrow Airport, east of London. Helicopter flights are prohibited, private flights are not recommended.