With preparations for King Charles III underway, from changing the anthem to the money notes and coins together with the signature, different leaders and heads of state from around the globe have come together in central London to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Around 500 dignitaries attended the service at Westminster Abbey, including president Joe Biden, Kings and Queens from across Europe and leaders of commonwealth nations.
Members of European royal monarchs included Spain’s king Felipe VI and Queen Letizia and the previous Spanish king Juan Carlos and Sophie. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II and her heir, crown prince Frederik also attended.
Royal households from Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium all attended. Monarchs from outside Europe included Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan.
Among the European national leaders that attended were French president Emmanuel Macron, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italian president Sergio Mattarella and Irish president Michael D Higgins.
Senior officials from the commonwealth also attended, the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Indian president Droupadi Murmu.
Only three African presidents were invited, including president Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and his counterparts from Gabon Ali Bongo and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.
Furthermore, several other presidents attended, including Paul Kagame of Rwanda, William Ruto of Kenya, Hage Gainegob of Namibia, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Hussein Sheikh Muhammad of Somalia and Hassan Samia suluhu of Tanzania.
Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was reportedly officially invited but excused himself for unstated reasons. Pope Francis did not attend the Queen’s funeral but sent a senior representative from the Vatican.
Invitations to attend the Queen’s funeral were sent to nearly every head of state worldwide except the countries of Syria, Venezuela, Russia, Afghanistan, Belarus and Myanmar.
Britain did not have full democratic ties with Syria, Venezuela or Afghanistan, and relations with Russia and Belarus collapsed after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February. Russia’s military used Belarus as a base to launch attacks on Ukraine. And the UK reduced its democratic presence in Myanmar after a military coup last year.
The New reign of King Charles III will be one with different responsibilities after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, and I wish him all the best.