A host of dignitaries, and especially heads of royals, are today expected to attend the final service for the departed monarch. This is going to be a meeting of its kind in decades.
Among those who will be in attendance are Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako – their first overseas trip since assuming the throne in 2019. The visit marks a departure from Japanese tradition, which rarely sees the emperor attend funerals.
Others who will also be in attendance are a host of leaders from Europe, since there still exists a thin bloodline ties between the departed monarch, and other European leaders – even after migrations from one continent to the other, and even between countries.
According to BBC and Sky News reports, Westminster Abbey has a capacity of about 2,000 people, where close to 500 heads of state will be sitting at, alongside their partners and other foreign dignitaries.
There are so many European royal families that are directly, or indirectly, related to the departed longest-serving monarch, who will also grace the occasion. Among them are: King Harald V of Norway, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Philippe, King of the Belgians will all attend.
Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, who scrapped a series of events marking her 50th jubilee following the death of her third cousin, Queen Elizabeth, is also coming.
Spain’s King Felipe VI will be there with his wife Queen Letizia. So too will his father, former king Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in disgrace in 2014 and now lives in self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates.
Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and its de facto ruler, has also been invited, but it has not yet been confirmed if he will attend.
RELATED STORY: William Ruto off to the United Kingdom on his maiden international trip as President