The Times: The Queen’s funeral is a ceremony fraught with diplomatic risks

The British newspaper “The Times”, in a report, listed the most important scenes expected today, Monday, at the funeral ceremony of the late Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. The newspaper began its report with the words: “They came from Africa and Asia, from America and Australia,” and “there were princes, princesses, presidents, emperors and princes.”

She said the President of Ireland came with the former King and Queen of Spain in one chariot, and the current King and Queen of Spain, who had a strained relationship with their predecessors, would share a chariot with the King and Queen of Sweden.

Yesterday, the leaders of friendly countries and less friendly countries met for drinks and appetizers, as Buckingham Palace hosted one of the largest gatherings of heads of state in history, avoiding any diplomatic disputes in this presence.

The ceremony was expected to be attended by between 200 and 250 heads of state and dignitaries, along with their spouses, as they were welcomed by King Charles III before his mother’s funeral today. There was also controversy within the family, amid reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were ‘uninvited’ because Harry’s royal status is not valid.

Until last night, the State Department had refused to release the broader guest list, and the main problem with protocol was that guests were free to mingle at the Buckingham Palace gathering, but when world leaders could move unhindered, opportunities for diplomatic activity and risk would arise.

Madrid is angry at the presence of the honorary exiled King Juan Carlos, who has received a personal invitation in addition to that of his son, King Felipe, the head of state, who will head the Spanish delegation with Queen Letizia.

Juan Carlos fled Spain to the Gulf in 2020 on suspicion of fraud, and has not seen his son since. While Felipe and Letizia will remain with the Spanish ambassador, Juan Carlos will be transferred to a hotel with his estranged wife. Not all invitees respected the apolitical nature of the occasion.

Brazilian President Bolsonaro, who faces re-election battle in Brazil next month, held an impromptu gathering at his embassy on Sunday, criticizing from the balcony the ideology of gender, drugs, abortion and its Latin American neighbors.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog is scheduled to attend, along with Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, who will represent President Mahmoud Abbas.

Relations between the Israeli and Palestinian administrations remain tense, with Britain’s role in the century-old Balfour Declaration still a sensitive issue for the Palestinians. Charles had angered Israel with his comments on his first visit to the occupied territories in 2020, saying that freedom for the Palestinians is his “best wish”.

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