Bashar Al-Assad, Nicolas Maduro and Taliban leader are snubbed from Queen’s funeral guest list while North Korean hermit state is only allowed to send an ambassador
- Autocratic leaders of Syria and Venezuela were snubbed from Queen’s funeral
- 500 dignitaries and heads of state expected to attend Monday’s historic event
- But presence of controversial figures has already sparked rumours of protests
- Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing
The snub list for the Queen’s state funeral grew again today as it was revealed official invitations will not be extended to Syria, Venezuela or Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Syria’s autocratic leader Bashar al-Assad, Venezuelan tyrant Nicolás Maduro and representatives from the Taliban have all been left off the exclusive guest list.
As the world mourns Her Majesty’s death at the age of 96, the globe’s most powerful men and women are scrambling for seats on Monday amid limits on who can join the congregation of 2,000 VIPs.
500 world leaders, foreign dignitaries and heads of state including Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Emperor Naruhito will be at the historic service honouring Britain’s longest reigning monarch – the first full State Funeral that Britain has hosted since Winston Churchill died in 1965.
European royalty, who have deep ties to the House of Windsor, have all confirmed they will attend, including Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.
The presence of Brazil’s right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London could spark protests that would widen if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum are also invited to Britain.
Earlier this week, Vladimir Putin faced fresh humiliation on the world stage as he was snubbed along with his ally, Belarus’ Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Min Aung Hlaing of Myanmar will also not be asked to attend as relations between the two countries remain frosty since the violent military coup of 2021.
It is not thought the trip will be made by Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, who took time out from organising his country’s fightback against Putin’s forces to sign a book of condolence for the Queen.
Buckingham Palace had earlier declined to comment on who is on the guest list and when it is expected to be finalised.
Syria’s autocratic leader Bashar al-Assad was left off the guest list for the Queen’s state funeral
Venezuelan tyrant Nicolas Maduro will not be invited to the attend the historic passing of the Second Elizabethan Age
The Taliban’s Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada has also been snubbed from the exclusive guest list for the Queen’s state funeral
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un will also not be in attendance on Monday as the hermit state was only extended an ambassadorial invitation
The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar won’t get an invite to the Queen’s funeral but a number of controversial figures including Erdogan and Bolsonaro are coming to London and other world leaders are yet to confirm including President Xi
Representatives from the Commonwealth, which the Queen served as their head of state, are also expected to attend. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau were all invited.
However, questions have clearly been raised inside the Palace walls over whether or not to extend official niceties to pariah states and dictatorial regimes.
North Korea and Nicaragua will only be invited to Her Majesty’s state funeral at an ambassadorial level, joining Iran in that category.
The octogenarian King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud will have received an invite but would be highly unlikely to attend due to his age and health.
His son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the nation’s de facto leader who mixed with world leaders at the G20, could head to Britain in his place – a decision that would likely spark protests.
MBS is accused of ordering the murder journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. He vehemently denies the claims and said recently that that the journalist would not be among his top 1,000 targets to kill, ‘if that was how we did things’.
But US intelligence agencies concluded in a declassified intelligence report that the Saudi crown prince had approved the 2018 murder.
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron will be in London
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been invited to the funeral. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been invited, but is not likely to leave China for the first time in two years
Belarus’ Aleksandr Lukashenko is not invited. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, will fly to London
King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia of Spain recently paid tribute to their distant relative with a heartfelt statement. They have also confirmed their attendance to the Queen’s funeral
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands were the first foreign royals to confirm their attendance at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral next Monday
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako pictured in Tokyo shortly after his enthronement in November 2019 may also attend
Her Majesty’s close friend Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the billionaire ruler of Dubai, is yet to confirm if he will attend.
All holders of the Victoria Cross or George Cross will be able to attend the Queen’s funeral, MailOnline understands.
Invitations are being sent to most nations with which the UK has diplomatic ties.
The UK does not have diplomatic relations with Syria or Venezuela, while the political situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban swept to power a year ago means no representative has been invited from Kabul.
While most nations can send their leader or appointed delegate plus a guest, the Commonwealth realms, which retain the monarch as head of state, are being granted extra representation.
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern – whose journey across the world will take almost 24 hours – and her Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese will attend.
Australia and New Zealand are also offering to share flights to allow Pacific leaders to travel together to London with Mr Albanese bring 10 ‘ordinary Aussies’ with him on the plane to the UK.
The extraordinary scene as the procession leaves Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s home for most of her 96-year life
The Royal Family follow Her Majesty the Queen from Buckingham Palace as she is handed to the nation
The Queen Consort Camilla and the Princess of Wales travelled in the first limousine behind the coffin
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, travelled to Westminster with Sophie, Countess of Wessex
The Life Guards march before the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is taken to the Palace Of Westminster
It comes as Her Majesty spent her final night in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace last night before being conveyed on a gun carriage to Westminster Hall – where she will lie in state until 6.30am next Monday, the day of her funeral.
More than half the world’s population are expected to tune in next week to watch the final chapter of the Second Elizabethan Age draw to a poignant close as the Queen is laid to rest at Westminster Abbey.
Broadcasting experts have suggested a staggering 4.1 billion viewers could watch the televised funeral – smashing the previous record of 3.5billion who reportedly watched boxing great Muhammad Ali open the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
Over one million visitors are expected to queue in Central London for up to 35 hours to walk past her coffin – but experts believe only 400,000 will make it inside meaning 600,000 people will be left disappointed.
Mourners have also been joining the queue to attend the lying in state, opening at 5pm tonight. Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’.
The queuing infrastructure for the Queen’s lying in state is 10 miles in length, it is understood. This includes 6.9 miles from Victoria Tower Gardens to Southwark Park, with a further three miles inside Southwark Park.
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