PRESIDENT of India Draupadi Murmu will be among 500 foreign dignitaries who will attend the State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II - who ruled for a record 70 years - on Monday.
Britain’s broadcaster ‘BBC’ commented it will be “in the 21st Century, an event beyond compare”. Murmu, who is in London on a three-day visit to attend the State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II scheduled at Westminster Abbey on Monday, signed a condolence book on behalf of the Indian Government on Sunday.
President Murmu was joined by Acting High Commissioner Sujit Ghosh at Lancaster House in London, where visiting world leaders are stopping by to sign a book of condolence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II who died aged 96 in Scotland on September 8.
Murmu also paid her respects on Sunday at Westminster Hall, where Britain’s longest-serving monarch is Lying-in-State until the morning of the State funeral on Monday.
Murmu has been invited for a State reception at Buckingham Palace in London being hosted by King Charles III, who succeeded Elizabeth, and Queen Consort Camilla for foreign dignitaries on Sunday. This will take place after the visiting leaders have paid their respects to the body lying-in-state in a coffin with a bejewelled crown above it in Westminster Hall in the United Kingdom’s Houses of Parliament.
The Earl Marshall the Duke of Norfolk, who is overseeing the elaborate arrangements, told media: “It is our aim and belief that the State funeral and events of the next few days will unite people across the globe.”
There will be more than 2,000 guests attending the service at Westminster Abbey in Central London opposite the Houses of Parliament known at the Palace of Westminster, where the body has been lying-in-state for several days, with an estimated 750,000 Britons and foreigners filing past it. Around 4,000 personnel of the Armed Forces will participate in the ceremonies. The television audience is forecast to be in the billions.
In what will be the first State funeral in Britain since the one held for the heroic Second World War Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, the emperor of Japan will be present, as will be the Kings and Queens from Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.