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Who attended the late Queen's funeral? World leaders and countries on the guest list

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 19/09/2022 Amira Arasteh, Nick Squires, Anita Singh
Joe Biden, the US President, was joined by his wife Jill (right) and the US Ambassador to the UK, Jane Hartley, to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state - Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Images © Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Images Joe Biden, the US President, was joined by his wife Jill (right) and the US Ambassador to the UK, Jane Hartley, to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state - Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 500 dignitaries from around the world paid their last respects to Queen Elizabeth II at her full state funeral at Westminster Abbey today.

They joined members of the Royal family, UK prime ministers past and present, and key figures from public life in one of the largest diplomatic moments of the century.  

So, who did we get to see?

The Royal family

The late Queen’s four children – King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – were present at the funeral, as well as their respective spouses: Camilla, the Queen Consort; Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Sir Tim Laurence. The Duke of York’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, also attended.

King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex walk behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin during the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral - Jon Super © Provided by The Telegraph King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex walk behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin during the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral - Jon Super

The late Queen’s grandchildren were also in attendance at the service - Prince William, Price Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

Spouses of close family, including Catherine, the Princess of Wales and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex paid their respects too.

Other Royals who attended the funeral ceremony included Queen Elizabeth II’s cousins: the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

Foreign royals

Monarchs from across the world flew into London to pay their respects. Royal representation at the funeral included:

  • Crown Prince of Bahrain
  • King of the Belgians
  • King of Bhutan
  • Sultan of Brunei
  • Queen of Denmark
  • Emperor of Japan
  • King of Jordan
  • Crown Prince of Kuwait
  • King of the Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein
  • Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • Malaysian Sultan
  • Prince of Monaco
  • Crown Prince of Morocco
  • King of the Netherlands
  • King of Norway
  • Sultan of Oman
  • Amir of the State of Qatar
  • Salman of Saudi Arabia
  • King of Spain
  • King of Sweden
  • King of Tonga
  • President of the UAE

World leaders

Her Majesty met countless world leaders during her 70-year reign and many of these politicians attended her state funeral, including a representative from every G7 country.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, brought 10 guests including the Maori King, Tūheitia Paki. Her Australian and Canadian counterparts Anthony Albanese and Justin Trudeau were also there. David Hurley, Australia’s Governor-General, joined, as did Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president.

South Korean president Yoon Suk-Yeol was also in attendance. Meanwhile, a representative of North Korea was allowed to attend the funeral. Britain and North Korea established diplomatic relations in 2000 after 60 years without embassies. However, Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, rarely travels abroad and was never likely to attend.

The Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako also travelled to Britain to attend. Traditionally, a Japanese emperor stays away from funerals whether at home or abroad because of a cultural belief based in the Shinto religion that considers death impure. The decision for Naruhito to attend the Queen's funeral underscores the importance and the deep bond between the royal families.

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral © Provided by The Telegraph Queen Elizabeth II's funeral

HH Amir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, Emir of Qatar, was also present.

Israel’s president also attended, however the prime minister did not. Although Iran's Supreme Leader was not present, the BBC’s James Lansdale confirmed that the country would be represented at an ambassadorial level.

Wang Qishan, China’s vice president, attended at the invitation of the British Government. However, his attendance was criticised by senior Conservative MPs, who said it was “extraordinary” that representatives of the Chinese government were invited given accusations of genocide in Xinjiang.

Special guests and foreign delegations

Seventeen of the 23 recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross attended the service, including one from New Zealand and four from Australia.

Seven were involved in the Procession of the Orders of Chivalry, including Colour Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC, who was awarded Britain’s highest military honour for twice saving colleagues while under fire in Iraq.

Jacinda Amey, who risked her life to pull a friend to safety amid a great white shark attack, when she was just 23, is one of 10 guests that New Zealand was allowed to invite to the funeral.

The country’s delegation also included Kiingi Tuheitia, a Maori king, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the celebrated soprano, and young entrepreneur Jacqueline Gilbert. 

Also in attendance was Willie Apiata, a special forces soldier who won the Victoria Cross for his bravery under fire while fighting in Afghanistan. He is the only recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand, which replaced the British Victoria Cross in 1999. 

Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Willie Apiata - John Stillwell/AFP via Getty © Provided by The Telegraph Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Willie Apiata - John Stillwell/AFP via Getty

This invitation privilege was extended to all Commonwealth nations, while other countries were limited to just two guests, in addition to state dignitaries.

Decorated military veteran Ben Roberts-Smith was among the special guests to represent Australia at the funeral. He received the Victoria Cross for his bravery in battle as a corporal in the Australian SAS in Afghanistan in 2010.

The Australian delegation also included Chris Waller, a horse trainer who looked after many of the Queen’s horses.

Australia offered to help delegations from Commonwealth countries in the South Pacific fly to the UK for the funeral, including Samoa, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Mr Trudeau invited Leslie Arthur Palmer, a member of the coast guard who was awarded Canada’s Cross of Valour for rescuing two fisherman in 2004. Also in attendance was Sandra Oh, the Killing Eve actress, who formed part of Justin Trudeau’s official delegation. She participated in a procession of recipients of national honours, but did not take a seat in Westminster Abbey.

Other recipients of the Order of Canada – the country’s second highest civilian honour – including musician Gregory Charles and Mark Tewksbury, the Olympic gold medal swimmer were also present.

Non-high profile figures

Her Majesty relied on many close staff, such as her ladies-in-waiting and footmen, who were also in attendance to pay their respects to the late Queen. One was Angela Kelly, the late Queen’s dresser and trusted confidante.

And taking their place alongside the visiting dignitaries were 183 members of the public, chosen for their service to the community. It may have been a grand state occasion, but it was also the people’s funeral, reflecting the late monarch’s connection to her subjects.

Those members of the public were all recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List earlier this year.

The late Queen had specified that honours recipients from all corners of the United Kingdom be included on the guest list, along with George Cross and Victoria Cross holders whose bravery she held in high regard.

They included Barbara Crellin, from Rutland, who was awarded the MBE for setting up an emergency first responder scheme in her local community. Mrs Crellin, 71, also does voluntary work encouraging children to take part in sport.

“When they told me why they were calling, you could have knocked me down with a feather,” Mrs Crellin said of her telephone call from the Cabinet Office last Saturday, inviting her to attend the funeral.

Pranav Bhanot, 34, a solicitor and parish councillor honoured for distributing food to housebound residents of Chigwell, Essex during lockdown, said that the invitation was “the last thing I expected”.

Robert Lodge, of Weeley Heath in Essex, is a veteran who was honoured for his work with the Red Cypher charity, which supports past and present members of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.

Robert Lodge holds up a wreath of poppies - Robert Lodge/PA © Provided by The Telegraph Robert Lodge holds up a wreath of poppies - Robert Lodge/PA

“That’s a special feeling, to get that invite,” said Mr Lodge, 71. “It is a duty and I feel privileged, and, ‘Why me?’”

He met the Queen in Germany in 1984 when she visited a gunner parade in Dortmund. “She was friendly, straight-talking as everyone knows her to be, and a wonderful person,” he added.

Mr Lodge said he had been moved by the national outpouring of grief. “Only this country would produce the standard of organisation and pageantry that we’re seeing on television. Absolutely amazing. Outstanding.”

Guy Addington, 45, an RNLI volunteer from Margate in Kent, is credited with saving 13 lives at sea, although he stressed that it was always as part of a crew.

He followed his father and grandfather by working at the lifeboat station in Margate, and met the Queen when she visited in 2011.

Guy Addington - Guy Addington/PA © Provided by The Telegraph Guy Addington - Guy Addington/PA

“The Queen was so interested and really supportive of the RNLI. She would often pay ad-hoc visits and we enjoyed a visit of that type in Margate.”

Mr Addington said of his invitation to the funeral: “It’s in no way lost on me, the magnitude of this moment in history, so to have the opportunity to be even slightly involved, let alone actually go to the service, is just incredible.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “These individuals drawn from across the UK were recognised for their extraordinary contributions in areas including the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, people who volunteered in their communities, charity workers and those who work in healthcare, education and the wider public sector”.

Who will not be attending the Queen’s funeral?

Invitations to the Queen’s funeral were not sent to Russia, Belarus and Myanmar.

Russia was not invited because of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, diplomatic sources said.

Dmitry Peskov previously said, although “Russians respected her for her wisdom”, Putin’s attendance at the late Queen’s funeral “is not being considered”.

Venezuela and Syria were not invited because Britain does not have full diplomatic relations with them, The Telegraph understands. No representatives from Afghanistan were invited because of the current political situation there. 

The former US presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama did not attend. Instead, the Government invited Mr Trump to a memorial service in honour of the Queen in Washington DC.

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