Sandra Oh and other high-profile women at Queen Elizabeth II's …


As the world turned its attention overnight to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, several high profile heads of state, dignitaries, former British prime ministers and members of the royal family were seen entering Westminster Abbey for the offical service. 

Here are some of the notable women in attendance.

Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister

Ardern attended the funeral accompanied by her partner Clarke Gayford, sporting a black millinery by Waikato-based designer Monika Neuhauser, and a feathered kākahu, custom-made by designer Kiri Nathan. 

Speaking to the BBC, Ardern said she was humbled to represent New Zealand and privileged to attend the funeral in person. 

“The thing that I will take away from this period is just the beauty of the public’s response, the kindness that you see from members of the public, the patience, the camaraderie, that has been, for me, the most moving tribute of all, has been the public response of the British people,” she said. 

Over the weekend, she appeared on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, reflecting on the wisdom the Queen had imparted when she first took office five years ago.

“One of the things on my mind alongside being a new prime minister was being a prime minister and a mum,” she said.

“And when you think about leaders who have been in that position…, there were so few to look to. So I said to her, ‘How did you manage?’, and I remember she just said, ‘Well, you just get on with it’. And that was actually probably the best and most factual advice I could have.”

“I’ve seen what London looks like day-to-day, and what it feels like day-to-day, the hustle and bustle,” she added. 

“And to see it just stand still, but do so so poetically, is a very moving thing to witness. The Queen was here for her people, and now her people are there for her.”

Brigitte Macron
First Lady of France

Like many guests attending the funeral, Brigitte Macron wore a fascinator with a short veil attached to it, often called a “mourning veil”, symbolising the wearer as one in a state of mourning. 

On Sunday, a day ahead of the funeral, Macron and her husband, Emmanuel were seen walking around Westminster with their aides amidst thousands of mourners — an “incognito” move that has garnered some pretty rough backlash online.  

“Dark glasses and sneakers. And why not jogging too? How disrespectful!” one French Tweeter user remarked.

“Emmanuel Macron incognito is possibly the least incognito person I’ve ever seen,” said another user.

Sandra Oh

Oh was a surprise attendee at the funeral, making her way inside Westminster Abbey with other Canadian participants, including musician Gregory Charles, Cross of Valour recipient Leslie Arthur Palmer and Olympic gold medallist swimmer Mark Tewksbury.

Oh, star of Killing Eve and Grey’s Anatomy, became a member of the Order of Canada in June this year and was part of the official Canadian delegation led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the funeral. 

Liz Truss
Prime Minister of UK

Just two weeks into her role as Prime Minister of UK, Truss joined Patricia Scotland, the secretary general of the Commonwealth, as the only two politicians to speak at the Queen’s funeral.

Truss read a passage from the Bible — the Second Lesson from John 14:1-9.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God,” she read. “Believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

“You know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Truss was accompanied by her husband, Hugh O’Leary. 

Theresa May
Former Prime Minister of UK

May was among the six living former prime ministers attending the funeral – other included John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

Last Thursday, the 65-year old joined members of the public as she paid her respects to the late monarch, curtseying to the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall.

May has recently described the Queen as “quite simply the most remarkable person I have ever met” and an “example of devotion to duty”.

Appearing on the British breakfast television programme, Lorraine, she said, “I think maybe there is a slight loss of that sense of duty.”

“The combination of qualities that she had, I have not come across in anybody else. I doubt we will see her like again.”

“I will remember so many moments with her. I think particularly some of those moments at Balmoral, where she felt more able to relax and we were able to relax in her company.”

“There would be occasions when, perhaps, everybody, guests, were milling around, perhaps chatting to each other, and the Queen was quite happy to sit in the room playing patience,” she added

“She didn’t feel the need for everybody to be paying attention to her all the time.”

“Yes, she had this very significant role and was very conscious of the responsibilities that she had as our constitutional monarch.”

“But she always wanted to put people at their ease and wanted to calm people’s nerve. And the sense of fun was enormously helpful in that for a lot of people I know.”

Nicola Sturgeon
Scotland’s First Minister

Sturgeon arrived at the funeral accompanied by the permanent secretary John-Paul Marks — the most senior civil servant in Scotland.

“She was the great constant,” Sturgeon told reporters, describing the ceremony as being “one of the most momentous occasions in recent history” and the “final and poignant goodbye to a deeply respected and much loved monarch.”

“[it was] an honour to represent Scotland at the service,” she said. “As the Queen is laid to rest, it gives us a chance to reflect on the events of the past ten days, which have provided a sincere, solemn and fitting tribute to our longest-reigning monarch.”

“We knew how important Scotland was to the Queen and, over recent days, we have been reminded just how much Her Majesty meant to the people of Scotland.”

Sandra Oh and other high-profile women at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral