Last rites to begin at 11 am; Britain to observed 7 days of mourning


Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died on September 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. (AP)

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, French President Emmanuel Macron, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, Vice President of China Wang Qishan, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, Australian PM Anthony Albanese, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol are expected to attend the funeral.

Britain has invited heads of state or a representative at an ambassadorial level from any country with which it has full diplomatic relations. Countries that have not been invited include Syria and Venezuela because London does not currently have normal diplomatic relations with those states. Britain has also not invited representatives from Russia, Belarus or Myanmar after it imposed economic sanctions on those countries.

Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, paid tribute to his mother on Sunday, saying he would treasure forever her love, compassion, care and confidence. Addressing his statement to “Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty”, reflecting the three roles he said Elizabeth had fulfilled during her 70-year reign, Andrew, the Duke of York, said he would miss her “insights, advice and humour”. “Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence I will treasure forever,” he said.

2,000 dignitaries and guests are expected to arrive at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral, ranging from King Charles III and other royals to world leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden to members of the British public who helped battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 5,949 military personnel have been deployed throughout the meticulously choreographed operation that began with the queen’s death. That number comprises 4,416 from the army, 847 from the navy and 686 from the air force. In addition, around 175 armed forces personnel from Commonwealth nations have been involved.