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Queen Elizabeth’s funeral: Foreign leaders banned from attending with private jets

The funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II has been scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2022.

Ahead of the funeral, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office has issued strict protocols for attending foreign heads of state and officials.

According to multiple reports by UK media, the funeral for attending foreign officials is by strict invitation with numbers limited to a head of state and their spouse or a senior government official in their stead.

“Multiple and comprehensive layers of security will be in place across London and at all the official venues used for the state funeral and associated events,” portions of FCDO documents quoted by the press state.

As part of the arrangements, the office has also warned foreign leaders to if possible, arrive in the UK onboard commercial flights as London’s Heathrow Airport will be closed to private jets.

As part of the arrangements, heads of state have been asked to gather at a site in West London where they will be bussed to Westminster Abbey for the funeral. The heads of state will be returned to the same location for their departure after the funeral.

The FCDO recommended that arriving heads of state fly to less busy airports around London and further warned that the use of helicopters to transfer from airports to other venues is banned due to the expected congestion in the region’s airspace.

The directive implies that foreign heads of state aside from being unable to fly to London in their private jets will not be able to use their official cars for the funeral.

Westminster Abbey where the Queen’s funeral will be held has an official capacity of 2,200 and is expected to be overfilled on the day of the funeral, a situation which has informed the decision to admit a limited number of foreign officials.

The FCDO in its protocol document said it “regrets that, because of limited space at the state funeral service and associated events, no other members of the principal guest’s family, staff or entourage may be admitted”.

Meanwhile, opposition Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described the directive as welcoming and timely to many Ghanaians.

The MP has for several months been monitoring and reporting on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s foreign travels.

Mr Ablakwa has accused the president of living a profligate lifestyle with his use of expensive chartered private jets for foreign travels instead of the state’s presidential jet.

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