‘Didn’t even want to go’ Putin puppet reacts to Royal funeral snub

Hyde Park prepares for crowds during Queen’s coffin procession

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Vladimir Putin “had no plans” to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral anyway, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed after it was revealed the Russian President was one of a handful of world leaders who had not been invited. Reports yesterday suggested Mr Putin had been snubbed, along with Alexander Lukashenko, President of Russian ally Belarus, and Min Aung Hlaing, the army general who heads up Myanmar’s Government after last year’s military coup.

Confirmed attendees include US President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, who is now Europe’s longest-serving head of state.

However, Mr Putin will not be joining them, in a move likely to stem from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February.

Questioned about the issue, Mr Peskov, who is Putin’s press secretary, did not deny Mr Putin had not been invited.

However, Russian state news agency RIA reported him as saying: “You know that the president sent a telegram of condolences.

“The president had no other plans to participate in memorial or other events from the very beginning.”

The warmth of Putin’s telegram, sent hours after the confirmation of the Queen’s death on Thursday, surprised many.

In a message shared on the Kremlin’s website, he said: “Your Majesty, Please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

“The most important events in the recent history of the United Kingdom are inextricably linked with the name of Her Majesty.

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“For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage.

“I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss.

“I ask you to convey the words of sincere sympathy and support to the members of the royal family and all the people of Great Britain. Sincerely, Vladimir Putin.”

An estimate 500 dignitaries from around the world will come to London to pay their last respects to the Queen.

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They will join senior royals including King Charles III, UK prime ministers past and present, and key figures from public life at Westminster Abbey – which can accommodate 2,000 people – at 11am on Monday.

Speaking yesterday, a Whitehall source said: “This is the biggest international event we have hosted in decades.”

No guest list has been published yet, but the leaders of most Commonwealth countries are expected to attend, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also saying she will make the nearly 24-hour journey with a delegation of five others.

Her Canadian and Australian counterparts, Justin Trudeau and Anthony Albanese have also accepted invitations.

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who took time out from organising his country’s fightback against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces to sign a book of condolence for the Queen, is not expected to attend.

Downing Street on Monday refused to comment on claims world leaders visiting London for the Queen’s funeral have been asked to travel on commercial flights and will be bussed to Westminster Abbey.

A spokesman said: “Arrangements for leaders, including how they travel, will vary depending on individual circumstances.”

Mr Biden is understood to have dispensation to make use of The Beast, the heavily armoured presidential car also used by predecessor Donald Trump when he visited London in 2019.

Most other leaders will be asked to take a shared coach to the Abbey from west London.

High-profile dignitaries who will be at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral:

Royal attendees: Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan – King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands – King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain – King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium – Juan Carlos I, former King of Spain, and his wife Sofia – Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary – King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden – King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway

National leaders: Joe Biden and Jill Biden, President and first lady of the United States – Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria – Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand – Anthony Albanese, Australian Prime Minister – Gitanas Nauseda, President of Lithuania – Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lankan President – Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Germany – Yoon Suk-yeol, South Korean President – Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil – Andrzej Duda, President of Poland – Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy – Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister – Charles Michel, President of the European Council – Ursula von der Leyen, President of European Commission – Egils Levits, President of Latvia – Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago – Mohammad Shtayyeh, Palestinian Prime Minister – Sauli Niinisto, President of Finland – Katalin Novak, Hungarian President – Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland – Michel Martin, Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland – Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica

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