LONDON — International heads of state and their spouses heading to London for the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II have been requested to reach within the U.Ok. on business flights and banned from utilizing helicopters to get round.
World leaders have additionally been informed they can’t use their very own state vehicles to attend the funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19 — and can as an alternative be bussed in en masse from a web site in west London.
“Are you able to think about Joe Biden on the bus?” one international ambassador primarily based in London complained through WhatsApp message early Sunday.
Official paperwork obtained by POLITICO additionally affirm that solely the heads of state and their spouses or companions from every nation have been invited to attend the funeral, which is shaping up to be one of the most significant international events hosted by the U.Ok. in latest occasions.
Westminster Abbey shall be so packed for the occasion that will probably be inconceivable for greater than a single, senior consultant per nation and their different half to attend, the International, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace (FCDO) lamented within the official protocol message relating to the occasion.
Within the doc, despatched to abroad embassies late Saturday night time, the division stated it “regrets that, due to restricted area on the state funeral service and related occasions, no different members of the principal visitor’s household, employees or entourage could also be admitted.”
Heads of state unable to attend could select another person as their official consultant, corresponding to a head of presidency or senior minister.
In response to the identical doc, King Charles III will host a reception for all of the abroad leaders at Buckingham Palace on the night earlier than the funeral service.
Visiting heads of state will be capable of attend the lying-in-state of the queen’s physique, and signal the condolence ebook at Lancaster Home instantly afterward. Whereas at Lancaster Home, international leaders will be capable of ship a tribute to the late queen lasting as much as three minutes, which shall be recorded for the media.
On the day of the funeral, the heads of state and their companions will arrive at Westminster Abbey in escorted coaches from a location in west London, the place “due to tight safety and street restrictions” they are going to be required to go away their very own vehicles.
“A number of and complete layers of safety shall be in place throughout London and in any respect the official venues used for the state funeral and related occasions,” a second FCDO doc detailing the logistical preparations for these touring from abroad states.
According to the principles of the federal government’s mourning interval, and “due to the in depth ceremonial programme associated to the state funeral and the logistical challenges, requests for bilaterals won’t be thought of on this event,” the FCDO warned within the be aware.
After the funeral service, international leaders shall be escorted on foot to Dean’s Yard, nonetheless throughout the grounds of the abbey, to attend a reception hosted by International Secretary James Cleverly, after which they’ll return by coach to west London to gather their vehicles.
No personal jets, please
“The place attainable,” the FCDO suggested, international leaders ought to arrive within the U.Ok. on business flights, warning that London Heathrow airport won’t be out there for personal flight preparations or plane parking. These leaders insisting on touring by personal jet ought to head for “much less busy airports” round London, the FCDO added.
Using helicopter transfers between airports and venues has been banned “because of the variety of flights working presently,” the division stated.
And in a message all-too-familiar to weary passengers utilizing U.Ok. airports this yr, the FCDO additionally warned that “unexpected occasions could require business and personal flights to divert from the meant airport of arrival.”