Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi not invited to queen's funeral

More than 500 dignitaries will attend the event in London

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi is not on the planned guest list for the queen's funeral, which will take place at Westminster Abbey in central London. Reuters
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has not been invited to Queen Elizabeth II's funeral and only an ambassador from the country has been asked to attend.

More than 500 dignitaries from around the world will travel to London to pay their last respects to the long-reigning monarch when her funeral takes place next Monday.

So far, only the leaders of four countries have not been extended an invitation, including Myanmar, which staged a military coup last year, and Belarus and Russia, both of which are engaged in the war in Ukraine.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the Iranian head of state had not been asked to attend. However, Iran does not currently have an ambassador, but may send its acting envoy, the charge d’affaires Seyed Hosseini.

About 2,000 people — including members of the British royal family and former UK prime ministers — will attend the service at Westminster Abbey, which will commence at 11am.

The funeral has presented a major logistical challenge, with one government source describing it as the biggest international event hosted in the country for decades.

Some have compared the task to organising “hundreds of state visits” within a matter of days. Normally, there might be two or three a year.

A guest list has yet to be published yet but US President Joe Biden was among the first to declare he would be flying in with his wife Jill.

The leaders of most Commonwealth countries are expected to attend, with New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying she will make the nearly 24-hour journey with a delegation of five others.

France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italy’s Sergio Mattarella, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro are among the presidents attending, along with the European Commission’s Ursula von der Leyen.

The guest list for the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service could provide an idea of who else might show. The 1,800-congregation featured about 30 foreign royals, including Prince Albert of Monaco, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, and King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway.

But it is not thought the trip will be made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who took time out from organising his country’s fightback against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces to sign a book of condolence for the queen.

Updated: September 13, 2022, 5:59 PM
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