UK will not invite Russia, Belarus to Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral: report

By | September 13, 2022

The United Kingdom has reportedly not extended invitations to Russia and Belarus to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, snubbing the pair of countries responsible for the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The Queen’s state funeral is scheduled for Sep. 19, and the country has invited roughly 500 foreign diplomats, including many heads of state. Moscow attempted to get ahead of the snub last week by announcing that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be attending the funeral. The U.K. has also snubbed Burma, which has long been the subject of U.K. economic sanctions.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have confirmed they will attend the funeral.

The U.K., U.S. and allies have carried out an expansive campaign to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion, both with economic sanctions and military funding.

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Belarus has played a key role in facilitating Russia’s aggression, allowing Russian troops to travel freely within its borders to assail Ukraine from multiple sides.

The snub comes at an embarrassing time for Russian troops, who just suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukrainian troops say they regained more than 1,000 square miles of territory in the country’s northeast Kharkiv region.

The day of the Queen’s funeral will see a military procession carry her coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, where her service will be held. It will be the first time a British monarch’s funeral has been held in the abbey since the 1700s.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Westminster will lead the service with sermons before newly-minted Prime Minister Liz Truss is called to speak.