Queen Elizabeth II speaks with First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. President Joe Biden during a reception and dinner hosted by the Eden Project in June 2021, in Cornwall, Britain. File Photo by Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing Street/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 12 (UPI) — A slew of world leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden and new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who once called for an end to the British monarchy, are expected to attend the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.
Truss called Queen Elizabeth “the rock on which modern Britain was built” and said the country “will come together with our friends across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service” in a statement after her death.
She was seen in a picture shared by the royal family shaking hands with King Charles III during a meeting at Buckingham Palace on Friday.
However, the prime minister has not always supported the British monarchy. In video from 1994 reported by CNN, Truss called for abolishing the crown.
“We do not believe that people should be born to rule or that they should put up and shut up about decisions that affect their everyday lives,” Truss said.
“We met another group of people and another group of people and all three groups of people said, ‘Abolish the monarchy.’ In fact, conference, we could not find a single monarchist outside the Royal Pavilion.”
Upon his ascension to the throne, King Charles also became the ruling monarch for several nations around the world including Australia, Canada and New Zealand among others — whose leaders were also expected to attend the funeral.
“The Queen visited New Zealand on ten occasions, with that notable first tour over the summer of 1953-54 when she and Duke of Edinburgh visited 46 centers and attended 110 functions,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.
“She was here to celebrate with us at events such as the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games and the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games. She also mourned with us when we were hit by terrible tragedies such as the Tangiwai rail disaster and the February 2011 earthquake,” Ardern said.
Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, will be one of three “official mourners” from the country and has delayed the opening of parliament to accommodate for the funeral.
Biden, who ordered all flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day she is buried, told reporters Friday that he and first lady Jill Biden will attend the funeral for the queen — who met with every U.S. president since Harry Truman except for Lyndon B. Johnson.
French President Emmanuel Macron paid a particularly touching tribute to Queen Elizabeth in a speech Friday and is also expected to attend the funeral.
“To you, she was your queen. To us, she was The Queen. She will be with all of us forever,” Macron said.
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito is also expected to make his first overseas trip since ascending to his throne in May 2019 to attend the funeral, according to Japanese media. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may also attend.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is also expected to attend, delivered a speech Friday in which he called Queen Elizabeth “a true friend and shining example” to Germany.
“We feel the personal loss that you, King Charles, and your family are suffering. We share in your grief,” Steinmeier said.
“At this difficult time, I wish you, Your Majesty, strength, God’s blessing and a sure hand in tackling the great task which has now passed to you.”
Sergio Mattarella, the president of Italy, will also reportedly attend the funeral and said in a statement that Queen Elizabeth “inspired generations of citizens of the world with wisdom and example.”
“The Italian Republic is grateful to her for the friendship shown to her during the years of her reign. Italians mourn the beloved sovereign of a friendly and allied country,” he said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are also expected to attend while Russian President Vladimir Putin will be noticeably absent from the funeral as his country wages war on Ukraine.
Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into the Palace of Holyroodhouse on September 11, 2022, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at age 96. Photo courtesy of The Royal Family | License Photo
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