Six countries, including Russia, have not been invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
There are six countries whose leaders have not been invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. Which are they and why?
The death of a monarch always has its protocols, and the case of Queen Elizabeth II is no different. The funeral of the late queen is expected to be one of the most historical events of twentieth-century British history.
On 8 September, at the age of ninety-six, Queen Elizabeth II passed away in Scotland. The funeral will take place on Monday, 19 September, and is to be attended by over five hundred foreign leaders, including dozens of heads of state and government. However, based on the political relationships of the United Kingdom, some countries were left off the invite list, including Afghanistan, Belarus, Myanmar, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela.
Belarus and Russia
Russia has been left off the invite list in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Belarussian leaders have also gone without an invitation based on their support of the war and their assistance to Russian forces in launching their attack.
The United Kingdom has been one of the largest senders of arms and aid to Ukraine, and while Volodymyr Zelenskyy was invited, he has sent a delegate in his place - choosing instead to stay behind as his country continues to make up ground against the Russian offensive.
Russia denies its intention to participate
Despite the tensions, President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to the British Royal Family.
In recent hours, the Russian Embassy in London has assured that it had no intention of being part of the services for the death of Queen Elizabeth II. According to the TASS agency of embassy sources, Moscow had no intention of sending any representative due to the “deplorable state” of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“Due to the deplorable state of Russia-UK bilateral ties, as well as London’s essentially hostile course towards our country, Russian officials were not planning to participate in protocol events organized by the British government in connection with the death of Queen Elizabeth II,” said the Russian delegation.
Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, and Venezuela
The United Kingdom does not have full diplomatic relations with these four countries, and for that reason, they have not been invited to the state funeral.
In the case of Afghanistan, the British government cut diplomatic ties when the Taliban took control in August 2021. Myanmar was sanctioned by London for the repression of the Rohingya community, and the country was asked not to send a representative.
Iran and North Korea
Representatives of Iran and North Korea have been invited at the ambassadorial level due to the tense relationship with both Supreme Leaders Ali Khamenei and Kim Jong-un. However, some have criticized the move considering that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman will be in attendance. The funeral marks MBS’ first visit to the United Kingdom since being accused of ordering the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
Nicaragua has seen a similar invitation, meaning that President Daniel Ortega will not be in attendance.