Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Biden will attend state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II


Biden will attend state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II: On Monday, US Vice President Joe Biden will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at London’s Westminster Abbey with a large group of other foreign leaders. Royal pomp will be on display to honor a queen whose reign lasted seven decades.

The 2,000 participants schedule to include world leaders, dignitaries, politicians, famous personalities, and European royals.

The Dean of Westminster, the Rev. David Hoyle, will preside over the ceremony, beginning at 11 a.m. in Westminster Abbey (6 a.m. ET). Lessons will read by Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.

A sermon will deliver by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Last Post will sound after the service, followed by a two-minute silence.

The Queen’s Piper, who will play a Reveille, the National Anthem, and a Lament at noon (7 a.m. ET), will conclude the state funeral.

The heads of state of nations with whom the United Kingdom maintains diplomatic ties received invitations over the weekend. Many notable figures from the Commonwealth and throughout the globe will attend the state funeral.

There won’t be any representatives from Syria, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan, or Venezuela. Most countries that get an invitation allow their head of state and a visitor to attend.

The casket will be transported from the hall to Wellington Arch after Monday’s formal funeral before making its last exit from London and arrival in Windsor.

The Queen will arrive at St. George’s Church on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where her journey will conclude. Her casket will lower into the Royal Vault under the chapel.

The ceremonial festivities on Monday mark the conclusion of “Operation London Bridge,” a nearly two-week-long public planning effort.

Years of planning have gone into the Queen’s burial, giving American advisors a better understanding of what will occur over the next several days as they prepare security plans. There will be a smaller American presence since, according to the White House, only the President and first wife invited.

As scores of foreign leaders gathered over the weekend and Monday to memorialize the late Queen, who visited 13 sitting US presidents during her reign, security in the British capital is at its greatest in recent memory.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, described the size in an interview with Sky News last week, saying: “If you think of the London Marathon. The carnival, past royal weddings, the Olympics – it’s all that in one.”

After the funeral on Monday in the late afternoon, Biden is set to depart for Washington. The President and First Lady Jill Biden paid their respects to the Queen while she was lying in state, signed condolence books. And attended a reception with other world leaders and King Charles III during their short visit to London.

The burial occurs the same week when international leaders expect to converge in New York for the UN General Assembly. As a result, Biden will have his first one-on-one encounter with Truss on Wednesday.


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