King Charles hosts world leaders at Buckingham Palace reception

About 500 people were invited to the palace for an official reception for visiting dignitaries

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World leaders have attended a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles on the eve of the queen’s funeral.

Presidents, prime ministers and royals from around the globe came together as guests of the monarch for the event on Sunday evening.

About 500 people were hosted in the palace’s main state rooms, including US President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden.

The couple arrived in the presidential car known as The Beast in the middle of a convoy of vehicles at the back of the palace shortly before 6pm.

Members of the president’s entourage mingled with household staff and police next to the palace lawn while the reception took place inside.

Up to 250 leaders were invited, with most bringing their spouses, including France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte.

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The Prince and Princess of Wales and other working members of the royal family including the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester joined King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla in mingling with guests.

Dozens of leaders of Commonwealth countries and members of foreign ruling families also attended the reception.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the reception and offered his deepest condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

At least 10 coaches arrived filled with guests who solemnly walked into the palace.

Some leaders were seen greeting each other while others remained silent as they walked up the steps.

Most of the guests were dressed in black, while some wore the traditional clothing of their countries.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and president of the European Council Charles Michel arrived on coaches at the grand entrance.

They were joined by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who walked into the palace followed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was also among guests at the event, which took place across the picture gallery, the white drawing room, the blue drawing room and the music room.

Guests arriving in their own vehicles and going through the Bow Room entrance at the back of the palace included the Bidens, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, and President of Israel Isaac Herzog.

President of Ireland Michael Higgins arrived on a coach with the former King and Queen Consort of Spain, Juan Carlos and Sofia.

They joined dozens of other dignitaries who went in the grand entrance at the front of the palace.

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King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan arrived in their own vehicle at the grand entrance and were followed by their son, Hussein, Crown Prince of Jordan, who also took his own vehicle.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, arrived moments later.

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Bahraini King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad also joined the guests, and the Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad, soon followed.

Sultan Haitham of Oman was also seen arriving at the palace.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark were among those arriving on coaches.

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Updated: September 18, 2022, 11:56 PM
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