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World leaders head to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

The gates to Abbey will open at 8 am for the visiting dignitaries and guests invited to the funeral.

SNS | New Delhi |

World leaders began gathering in London on Saturday for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday. Hundreds of dignitaries including US President Joe Biden, Indian President Droupadi Murmu, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern arrived in London.

Members of the royal families of several European countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands, have said that they will travel to pay their respects.

The state funeral, the first in Britain since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965, will take place at Westminster Abbey in London at 11:00 am local time, on Monday.

The gates to Abbey will open at 8 am for the visiting dignitaries and guests invited to the funeral.

The ceremony at Westminster Abbey – expected to be watched by millions around the globe – will see 142 sailors pulling the gun carriage bearing her lead-lined coffin.

It will be attended by more than 2,000 guests, with representatives of the Realms and the Commonwealth will be among those in the congregation at Monday’s funeral service.

After the funeral, the queen’s coffin will be transferred by royal hearse to Windsor Castle, west of London, for a committal service.

That will be followed by a family-only burial in which the queen will be laid to rest alongside her late husband Philip, both her parents, and her younger sister.

Invitations were sent out by Britain to heads of state of nearly every country in the world apart from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Russia, Belarus, and Myanmar.

President Droupadi Murmu arrived in London on Saturday evening to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and to offer condolences on behalf of the Indian government.

Ahead of Monday’s funeral service, the leaders are invited to a reception hosted by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace. All visiting heads of state, government, and official overseas guests are expected at what has been described as an “official state event”.