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Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is expected to draw many world leaders to London, which could cause the city or large parts of it to shut down ahead of the event.
“Given the number of dignitaries flying inland, the Metropolitan Police Force is getting to the point where they might end up saying London is closed,” Royal Family expert Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital.
The Queen’s state funeral is expected to be a huge event, with leaders such as Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expected to attend.
But the list will not include Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Fordwich said was the only world leader not invited amid Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
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President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will also attend. Neil Gardiner, a former foreign policy adviser under Margaret Thatcher, told Fox News Digital that prominent American figures are likely to be a visible presence.
“The seating chart was closely guarded by the Palace,” Gardiner said. “I would of course expect the President of the United States to be in a very prominent position near the front, because the United States is the closest friend and ally of Great Britain.”
Other foreign leaders who have announced their plans to attend include Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Belgian King Philip and Queen Mathilde, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Hungarian President Katalin Novak and Irish President Michael. Higgins, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Prime Minister of New Guinea James Marabe, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, Latvian President Eagles Levits, President of Lithuania Gitanas Nosida, and Prime Minister Palestinian President Mohammed Shtayyeh, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, South Korean President Yoon Sok-yeol, King Felipe VI of Spain, Queen Letizia Ortiz, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tonga King George Tupou VI. Trinidad and Tobago President Paula May Wikes.
Some foreign leaders are expected to send high-ranking officials to represent their country. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Monday that his country will send Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to attend the funeral.
With very narrow seating arrangements, each country is allowed one representative and one guest, which means that past presidents and prime ministers are not expected to attend.
While Gardiner expects security to be tight, he doesn’t think the whole of London will be shut down.
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“Large parts of central London will be closed to vehicles, and the area around Westminster will be largely closed…so the heart of the city around Westminster will be closed to all vehicles,” Gardiner said. “I would expect the public to be able to walk around for the most part…but you won’t see all of London closed off.”