Africa

Biden to join leaders paying respects to queen before funeral

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to pay tribute at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in London on Sunday, joining other world leaders and hundreds of thousands of people who have filed past the late British monarch as she lies in state.

Biden will later join King Charles and scores of other dignitaries and royals from around the globe for a reception ahead of the grand state funeral for Elizabeth on Monday.

Elizabeth’s body has been lying in state at the historic Westminster Hall since Wednesday, and people from all walks of life and from around the world have been filing past in a constant, emotional stream, many queuing overnight.

“Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world,” Biden said in a message following news of the queen’s death on September 8 at the age of 96.

He was one of the 14 U.S. presidents of her 70-year reign, of which Elizabeth met all except Lyndon Johnson, starting with Harry Truman in 1951 when she was still a princess.

Biden will join presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens and sultans representing nearly 200 countries and territories at the funeral.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, however, is no longer expected to attend, according to a British government source. Inviting the man Western leaders believe ordered the murder in 2018 of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been controversial. He has denied any role in the killing.

Britain has invited heads of state or ambassadors from any country with which it has full diplomatic relations, but it is up to those nations who they send. The change was made by Saudi Arabia, the source added.

‘LOVE FOR A SON’

For all the high ceremony and careful diplomacy of the funeral, for the queen’s family, it is also when they will bid farewell to a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son, paid tribute to “Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty” on Sunday, reflecting the roles he said Elizabeth fulfilled during her reign.

“Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence I will treasure forever,” he said.

Andrew has fallen from grace, stripped of the “His Royal Highness” title and removed from royal duties after a scandal over his friendship with late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and a related sex assault allegation.

Andrew, Duke of York, has not been charged with any criminal offence and has denied any wrongdoing. He paid to settle a U.S. civil court case.

On Saturday evening, his two daughters joined the queen’s other six grandchildren, including Charles’ sons Princes William and Harry, at a vigil around her coffin.

British Queen Elizabeth II | Update from ahead of the queen’s funeral on Monday

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin makes a final trip to Buckingham Palace

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button