International heads of state arriving for the Queen’s funeral should journey by bus en masse to Westminster Abbey, somewhat than utilizing personal automobiles, in line with newly issued authorities steering.
The paperwork, seen by the Guardian, set out strict guidelines for the handfuls of worldwide presidents, kings, queens and prime ministers anticipated to attend the funeral, urging them to journey by industrial flights to keep away from swamping London’s airports.
The directions lay naked the logistical problem of accommodating the sheer variety of abroad dignitaries who can be arriving in London over subsequent weekend – and can pose a dilemma for Joe Biden, who’s more likely to require a big quantity of extra safety. The US president has confirmed he’ll attend the funeral in individual.
The steering, first reported by Politico, says that worldwide visitors should maintain their delegations as small as doable and that funeral invites are restricted ideally to the top of state and their partner, with out their household or workers.
It stated the federal government “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”.
The steering provides: “The royal funeral unit would subsequently be grateful if accompanying delegations may be saved as small as doable. This may also cut back disruption and transit time at airports. The place doable, abroad representatives ought to plan to reach within the UK at the least at some point earlier than the state funeral or the primary occasion, which they’re attending.”
It additionally says Heathrow won’t be out there for personal flight preparations or plane parking and says heads of state ought to use different London airports if they can not fly commercially. It says the federal government will decline the usage of helicopter transport due to the sheer quantity of visitors.
The steering additionally advises overseas leaders that “it won’t be doable to show flags at any airport for arrival or departure”.
London’s streets are unable to deal with the amount of personal automobiles of overseas leaders anticipating to attend the funeral. As an alternative, they are going to be taken to a separate web site in London the place the federal government will “present coach transport from a central meeting level … Due to visitors restrictions, it won’t be doable for visitors to journey to such occasions in their very own autos.”
The steering tells visiting leaders that they’ll report quick messages as they signal messages of condolence however there can be “no Autocue or make-up services”.
The overseas secretary, James Cleverly, will host a reception for all of the worldwide guests attending the state funeral instantly after it concludes, near Westminster Abbey.