LONDON — Overseas 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 industrial 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 a substitute 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 based mostly 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 current instances.
Westminster Abbey might be so packed for the occasion that it is going to be unimaginable for greater than a single, senior consultant per nation and their different half to attend, the Overseas, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace (FCDO) lamented within the official protocol message concerning the occasion.
Within the doc, despatched to abroad embassies late Saturday evening, the division mentioned it “regrets that, due to restricted house 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 might select another person as their official consultant, similar 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 to 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 to ship a tribute to the late queen lasting as much as three minutes, which might 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 highway restrictions” they are going to be required to go away their very own vehicles.
“A number of and complete layers of safety might 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.
In step with the foundations 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 word.
After the funeral service, international leaders might be escorted on foot to Dean’s Yard, nonetheless throughout the grounds of the abbey, to attend a reception hosted by Overseas Secretary James Cleverly, after which they may return by coach to west London to gather their vehicles.
No non-public jets, please
“The place attainable,” the FCDO suggested, international leaders ought to arrive within the U.Ok. on industrial flights, warning that London Heathrow airport won’t be out there for personal flight preparations or plane parking. These leaders insisting on touring by non-public jet ought to head for “much less busy airports” round London, the FCDO added.
The usage of helicopter transfers between airports and venues has been banned “as a result of variety of flights working right now,” the division mentioned.
And in a message all-too-familiar to weary passengers utilizing U.Ok. airports this yr, the FCDO additionally warned that “unexpected occasions might require industrial and personal flights to divert from the supposed airport of arrival.”