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.Okay. on business flights and banned from utilizing helicopters to get round.
World leaders have additionally been instructed 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 website in west London.
“Are you able to think about Joe Biden on the bus?” one international ambassador based mostly in London complained by way of WhatsApp message early Sunday.
Official paperwork obtained by POLITICO additionally verify 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.Okay. in current occasions.
Westminster Abbey will likely be so packed for the occasion that it will likely be unattainable 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 concerning the occasion.
Within the doc, despatched to abroad embassies late Saturday night time, the division stated it “regrets that, due to restricted house on the state funeral service and related occasions, no different members of the principal visitor’s household, workers or entourage could also be admitted.”
Heads of state unable to attend could select another person as their official consultant, reminiscent of a head of presidency or senior minister.
In line with 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 e-book 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 will likely 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 will likely 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 foundations of the federal government’s mourning interval, and “due to the intensive ceremonial programme associated to the state funeral and the logistical challenges, requests for bilaterals is not going to be thought of on this event,” the FCDO warned within the observe.
After the funeral service, international leaders will likely be escorted on foot to Dean’s Yard, nonetheless inside the grounds of the abbey, to attend a reception hosted by International Secretary James Cleverly, after which they may return by coach to west London to gather their vehicles.
No non-public jets, please
“The place potential,” the FCDO suggested, international leaders ought to arrive within the U.Okay. on business flights, warning that London Heathrow airport is not going to 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 “because of the variety of flights working at the moment,” the division stated.
And in a message all-too-familiar to weary passengers utilizing U.Okay. airports this yr, the FCDO additionally warned that “unexpected occasions could require business and personal flights to divert from the meant airport of arrival.”