Foreign heads of state attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral must travel by bus together to Westminster Abbey, rather than using private cars, according to new British government guidelines.
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The documents, to which you have had access Guardian, set strict rules for the dozens of international presidents, kings, queens and prime ministers who are expected to attend the funeral on September 19. The British Government also urges them to travel on commercial flights to avoid saturating London airports.
The instructions highlight the logistical challenge of accommodating the large number of foreign dignitaries due to arrive in London over the coming weekend, and will pose a dilemma for US President Joe Biden, who will likely need a significant amount of extra security. The president has confirmed that he will attend the funeral in person.
The Guide, first published by the pan-European media Politicalindicates that international guests should keep their delegations as small as possible and that funeral invitations are ideally limited to the head of state and his or her spouse, without their family or staff.
The Government “regrets that, due to limited space at the State Funeral Service and associated events, other family members, staff or entourage of the principal guest cannot be admitted.”
“The royal funeral unit would appreciate, therefore, that the accompanying delegations were as small as possible,” adds the guide. “This will also reduce disruption and transit time at airports. Wherever possible, foreign representatives should plan their arrival in the UK at least one day before the state funeral or the first event they are to attend.”
private flights no
The document also notes that Heathrow airport will not be available for the organization of private flights or the parking of planes and says that heads of state must use other airports in London if they cannot go on commercial flights. In addition, he adds that the Government will reject the use of helicopter transport due to the large volume of guests.
The guidance also warns foreign leaders that “it will not be possible to display flags at any airport for arrival or departure.”
London’s streets are unable to handle the volume of private cars of foreign leaders waiting to attend the funeral. Instead, they will be taken to a separate location in London where the Government will “provide bus transport from a central meeting point…Due to traffic restrictions, it will not be possible for guests to travel to these events on their own. own vehicles.
The guidance tells visiting leaders that they can record short messages while signing condolence messages, but that “there will be no makeup or teleprompt services.”
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will host a reception for all international visitors attending the state funeral immediately after it concludes, near Westminster Abbey.