will heads of state respect sobriety in their travels?

will heads of state respect sobriety in their travels?

The British Foreign Office has recommended that heads of state avoid private flights to the queen’s funeral on Monday, even advising them to take the bus once they arrive in London.

Will the instructions be respected by the various heads of state? The British Foreign Office has sent an official document to world leaders, urging them to be sober in their journey to the Queen’s funeral on Monday, September 19.

‘The Royal Funeral Service encourages the use of commercial flights where possible,’ reads the note sent to embassies on September 10, stating that the British government would pay for guests’ travel in VIP class one way. and on the way back.

Even more unusual: heads of state should have to use a coach to reach Westminster Abbey where the funeral will take place, in the heart of London. Personal vehicles to be left in a west London car park.

Ultra-secure device for Joe Biden

However, if the scene can make you smile, it is already certain that these instructions will not be respected by some of the heads of state who will make the trip. This is particularly the case of US President Joe Biden.

“He will cross the Atlantic aboard his Air Force 1 presidential plane,” explains Antoine Heulard, BFMTV correspondent in Washington. “There is still an ultra-impressive security protocol, taking a commercial flight is simply impossible. Same thing once in London, Joe Biden will move in his armored vehicle, his limousine transported upstream by a military flight, the bus option was not even considered.”

The procession of the American president during his travels is indeed impressive, made up of several dozen cars, including a vehicle responsible for jamming communications to avoid the activation of a possible remote bomb. In addition, Joe Biden will be escorted by 400 secret service agents during his stay in London.

Presidential planes

Several other embassies have already asked to make an exception to this protocol of sobriety, including that of Israel or Japan. Emmanuel Macron, he will take a plane from the presidency to go to London, in particular in order to respect his very busy schedule for the next few days. On the other hand, for the question of the bus, the Elysée affirms that the methods are being stalled and that nothing has yet been fixed.

On the side of Spain, the royal couple Felipe VI and Letizia will also fly, accompanied by the former queen Sofia and the Spanish foreign minister.

“So the four will go up in one of the five Falcon available to the royal family and the government. But the former king of Spain Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014, resides in Abu Dhabi. He will take an airliner there and back,” explains Mathieu de Taillac, BFMTV correspondent in Madrid.

The train to Ursula von der Leyen

The good students of sobriety are rather to be found on the side of Brussels. The King and Queen of Belgium are due to travel to London by train, by Eurostar, as are Ursula von der Leye, President of the European Commission and Charles Michel, President of the Council. They also let it be known that they will comply with the London organization on site, which suggests a bus trip through the streets of the capital.

With these very specific instructions, a huge security challenge awaits London. More than the Olympics or the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, this funeral will arguably be the largest policing and policing operation ever staged in the UK.

Celine Pitelet, with Louis Augry

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