Air Force One in the sky

How world leaders will travel to the Queen’s funeral

Over the next few days, world leaders will be arriving in the UK in anticipation of the Queen’s funeral on Monday 19 September.

The world leaders’ security, travel and accommodation arrangements are varied, and have been the subject of criticism amidst accusations of special treatment for US president Joe Biden and president of France Emmanuel Macron.

How are world leaders travelling to the funeral service?

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office are said to be encouraging foreign heads of state to board commercial flights to the UK.

The notable exceptions to this advice are the travel arrangements for President Joe Biden.

Biden received permission to travel in his armoured Cadillac, nicknamed “The Beast,” to Westminster Abbey and is set to arrive imminently in the UK on board Air Force One.

However, dignitaries and other leaders have been told they will have to ditch their diplomatic cars for a shared bus and this will set off from an undisclosed location in west London.

It has been reported that Macron, president Yitzhak Herzog of Israel and Emperor Naruhito of Japan are also allowed to use their own transportation.

There has been a fierce backlash amongst G7 world leaders to the requirement they ditch their own vehicles and take part in the ‘park and ride’ scheme

Many leaders are disgruntled they are not receiving the same ‘special’ treatment offered to the US president.

Despite the fierce reaction to the bussing plans, it has been reported that the Foreign Office is not backing down over its requirement for leaders to give up their diplomatic cars.

Which world leaders is Prime Minister Liz Truss meeting before the service?

Liz Truss is expected to hold one-on-one private meetings with a select number of world leaders.

Truss will welcome Biden to Downing Street on Sunday evening. Those also invited include Irish Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, the Polish president, Andrzej Duda and the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Truss will greet the Australian prime minister Tom Albanese and the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern at Chevening on Sunday.

These meetings are different from the customary meetings between world leaders, as no cameras will be allowed and a statement disclosing what was discussed will not be published.

No meeting between Truss and Macron has been confirmed.

However, Truss will fly to New York for the UN summit after Monday’s ceremonial events have concluded. The summit will likely be an opportunity for Truss to meet other world leaders for the first time.

Where are world leaders staying?

The European royal guests will be staying at Buckingham Palace, whilst most world leaders are expected to stay at Claridge’s Hotel. The five-star hotel has 190 luxury rooms and is in Mayfair.

It is likely Biden will stay in Winfield House in Regent’s Park, the home of the US ambassador to the UK. Winfield is large enough to accommodate the president’s accompanying entourage, with 35 bedrooms and 12.5 acres of land.

Image credit: redlegsfan21

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