Victoria Jones – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
(Illustrative: Westminster Abbey packed for the funeral of former Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor)
UNITED KINGDOM – A historic logistical challenge. So what must stand the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II this Monday, September 19, foreign leaders have been given very specific and very strict instructions for their visit to London. Far from the receptions with great fanfare they are used to, this time they will have to comply with rigorous logistics.
As indicated by a document from the British Foreign Office revealed by the site Politicothe number ofguests from all over the world for the funeral will be such that the leaders and heads of state will not be able to come on site in any way.
A limited number of guests for leaders
For one thing, the guest list is so long that each leader will only be able to bring one other person to represent their country at Westminster Abbey. This could be his or her spouse or a minister.
” Due to limited space during the state funeral and related events, no other family members, staff or entourage of the main guest will be allowed in indicates this note.
Ban on private jet landings in London
Heads of state will also not be able to come to the UK as they wish. It is indeed not recommended to come by private jet and to favor commercial flights. “as far as possible”writes the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in the official document consulted by Politico.
London Heathrow airport will indeed not be able to accommodate private flights or ensure the parking of planes. As for those who insist on traveling by private jet, they will have to go to “less frequented airports” around London.
In addition, to make the transfer to the capital, they will not have the right to use a helicopter either. “due to the number of flights in progress at this time”.
No private cars allowed
Once there, the day of the funeral, Heads of State and their partner will not be permitted to travel to Westminster Abbey in limousines and private cars. They will indeed be transported in escorted coaches from a location in West London. It is in this area that they will have to leave their own car “due to strict security measures and road restrictions”.
“Can you imagine Joe Biden on a bus? », is sorry a foreign ambassador based in London via a WhatsApp message spotted by Politico. The American president travels in his Air Force One plane and moves with his armored vehicle, nicknamed “The Beast”.
A speaking time of three minutes per leader
The day before the funeral, King Charles III will host a reception for all foreign leaders at Buckingham Palace. They will be able to attend the solemn presentation of the Queen’s body and sign the book of condolences at Lancaster House.
On this occasion they will be able to make tribute to the late queen by reading a speech limited to three minutes and broadcast in the media.
“The largest police operation ever staged in the UK”
Among the expected personalities, the American presidents Joe Biden and French Emmanuel Macron, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, as well as many leaders of the former British colonies.
It will also be Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s first overseas trip since assuming the throne in 2019, following his father’s abdication. “It will be arguably the largest policing and policing operation ever in the UK”Nick Aldworth, former national police counter-terrorism coordinator, told the newspaper. The Independent.
See also on The HuffPost: Elizabeth II had sent her 1st e-mail long before (almost) everyone