By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
LONDON (Worthy News) – The coffin of Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II coffin has been taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburg, Scotland, amid controversy over her upcoming funeral.
King Charles III, along with his brothers and sister, led the procession along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where a remembrance service was held before mourners could pay their respects.
Earlier, Charles made his first address as monarch to legislators in Parliament, where he promised “selfless duty.”
Yet as the nation prepared for the Queen’s funeral on September 19, tensions emerged over security details surrounding U.S. President Joe Biden. The British and American governments played down suggestions that Biden could be banned from using a helicopter and obliged to travel by bus when he and other world leaders are in London for the funeral next week.
However, a leaked government document showed foreign heads of state would have to ride en masse in a bus to Westminster Abbey rather than using private cars.
The guidance, seen by several media outlets, set strict rules for the dozens of presidents, kings, queens, and prime ministers due to attend the funeral. They were also urged to travel by commercial flights to avoid putting too much strain on London’s airports.
The protocol message also said international guests must keep their delegations as small as possible, and those funeral invitations were limited ideally to the head of state and their spouse.
Like his predecessors, Biden – who confirmed his attendance on Saturday – usually gets about on foreign trips by helicopter and in the heavily armored presidential car known as the Beast.
Asked about the reports on Monday, the spokesperson for the new British prime minister, Liz Truss, stressed the “arrangements for different leaders will vary” and that the documents were simply for guidance.
The Guardian newspaper quoted U.S. sources as saying that the leaked document is not the version received by the White House “which does not impose the same limits on the number of guests and modes of travel.”
That suggests at least two versions of the invitation and maybe more, each tailored to the country in question.
British officials did not comment. However, one foreign ambassador based in London sent a text message saying, “Can you imagine Joe Biden on the bus?”
Timothy Miller, a security specialist and former US secret service agent, added in separate comments: “The bottom line is the president of the United States would never fly commercial and/or ride on a bus” for security reasons.
Besides Biden, leaders and royals from around the world are due to attend the funeral.
For instance, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain will go to the funeral, while an invitation is also thought to have been sent to Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014, reports said.
Others include Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, a rare overseas outing for a leader whose perceived anti-democratic behavior and destruction of the Amazon rain forest isolated him internationally.
A national minute’s silence will be held on Sunday at 8 pm local time, the night before the Queen’s funeral in Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, passed away last week at age 96, leaving behind a nation facing significant economic and social turmoil.
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