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The coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace for her Lying- in-State, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Pool photo via AP)

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

September 17, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at St Paul’s Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving held in honour of her 80th birthday, June 15, 2006 in London, England. (Tim Graham/Getty Images)

(CNN) — When Queen Elizabeth II receives a state funeral at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday, it will be one of the largest 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 on September 8 at the age of 96.

While no official guest list has been published, invitations have been sent.

World leaders

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

“I don’t know what the details are yet but I will be going,” Biden told reporters last Friday.

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and South Korea’s Yoon Suk Yeol are among the presidents attending the Queen’s final send-off following a series of ceremonial events.

China’s Vice President Wang Qishan will also attend, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed — despite British lawmakers sanctioned by China having criticized the decision to extend an invitation to Beijing.

The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday.

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

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed on his verified Twitter account on Wednesday that he will attend the funeral.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse Jenni Haukio will also be in attendance, according to a statement from Finland’s presidential office on Monday.

In addition, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will be present.

Commonwealth leaders

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

“I would prioritize of course, alongside the governor-general, doing our duty in representing New Zealand and to pass on the condolences of our whole nation,” Ardern told TVNZ Friday. “I do expect there will be a number of leaders looking to pay respects and tribute to the Queen,” she added.

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

Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun reported, citing Imperial Household Agency officials, that a Japanese emperor has only attended the funeral of a foreign head of state or royal family member on one previous occasion, when then-Emperor Akihito attended the funeral of Belgian King Baudouin in 1993.

Indian President Droupadi Murmu will attend the funeral “and offer condolences on behalf of the government of India,” the country’s Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will also be paying his respects at the funeral, according to a statement from the country’s presidential office.

European royals

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

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

Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I and former Queen Sofia will be present, the country’s royal household press office told CNN. The former King is the great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria and a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja, and King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will also be among the congregation.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands, together with the country’s former Queen, Beatrix, who abdicated in 2013, will also be there, the Dutch royal house announced.

And the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, will pay her respects at the funeral, according to a statement from the official website for the Danish royal family.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who remembered the Queen as an “iconic leader” and “beacon of wisdom and principled leadership,” will also attend.

Who hasn’t been invited?

Not all world leaders are on the guest list, however.

Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan are three of the countries that haven’t been asked to send a representative, according to Britain’s PA Media news agency.

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

Leaders and officials from Russia, Belarus and Myanmar will also be absent.

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

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

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

Two MPs and two members of the House of Lords wrote to the Commons Speaker, Lord Speaker and the Foreign Secretary, saying they were “greatly concerned” that representatives of China’s government had been invited. They said the invitation was “extraordinary” in light of the UK parliament’s vote to recognize the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China as a genocide.

After the funeral, Queen Elizabeth II will be buried at 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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