The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London was not only an event for the members of the British royal family. Monarchs, royals, and other nobles from across the world—many of them related to Elizabeth II in distant generations—turned out at Westminster Abbey to honor Britain’s longest serving sovereign.
Members of European Royal Houses sat opposite King Charles III. They included King Harald V of Norway, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Philippe of Belgium, King Felipe VI of Spain, and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II is a third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. “Your mother was very important to me and my family,” Queen Margrethe wrote in a letter to King Charles III.
Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I was also in attendance; he is a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. His appearance prompted criticism from those in Spain as he now lives in exile in Abu Dhabi. Juan Carlos fell from popularity because of financial scandals and an elephant-hunting trip to Africa.
Prince Albert II of Monaco attended, alongside his wife of 11 years, Princess Charlene—who has rarely been seen in public in recent years.
Members of royalty from beyond Europe attended, too. They included Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan, Malaysia’s King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Queen Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah.
Queen Rania of Jordan had previously told ITV news, “To me she is the queen of the world…She may be the Queen of England but I think symbolically she is the queen to all of us.”
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had been invited but he did not attend; bin Salman has come under increasing global scrutiny for Saudi Arabia’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Human rights groups criticized the decision to invite him. Saudi was instead represented by Prince Turki bin Mohammed Al Saud, a member of cabinet and state minister.
Roughly 100 presidents and heads of state, including U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden were present for the funeral service.
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