Six nations did not receive an invitation to attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral
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With Westminster Abbey packed full of dignitaries and representatives from countries around the globe this morning for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, you might be surprised to learn that there were six countries that didn’t even receive an invite to the big event.
Whilst you can probably hazard a guess at most of them, there might be a few names on there that are not as easy to figure out.
This event is – as you might imagine – one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders that there has ever been, with everyone from the President of Tanzania to United States President Joe Biden, as well as Killing Eve star Sandra Oh, who managed get on the guest list as part of the Canadian delegation.
But, despite all of that, the dignitaries from Russia, Belarus, Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan and Myanmar haven’t been given an invitation at all.
Even North Korea, Iran and Nicaragua were invited to the big day, even if that is only in an ambassadorial capacity.
Basically, the British government has only invited countries that it currently has diplomatic relations with.
That explains Russia and Belarus, who are currently at war with Ukraine, as well as Afghanistan, where the Taliban are in charge.
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad obviously didn’t get an invite either.
Neither did Venezuela, simply because the UK has no diplomatic relationship with them.
Myanmar has missed out on an invite after a military coup was staged last year.
Those world leaders who did travel to the funeral at Westminster Abbey were asked to do so without the use of private planes as a gesture towards the environment.
However, US President Joe Biden still came over on his own plane, and didn’t have to board the bus to the big event, choosing instead to arrive in his own personal armoured limousine nicknamed ‘The Beast’.
Some of those world leaders who did board the bus included New Zealand president Jacinda Ardern, who said that she couldn’t understand the ‘fuss’ over the whole idea.
She said: "I don’t think the bus warrants too much fuss."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also threw his weight behind the idea of having people travel together – which was also partially due to restrictions on the number of vehicles and space around the venue – saying that ‘a lot of great conversations happen on the bus’.
He’s clearly never spent that much time on the 444 from Rochdale Town Centre, but whatever.
Now that the state funeral is officially over, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Windsor where several private services will take place, culminating in the Queen’s burial alongside her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip this evening.
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