President Droupadi Murmu has arrived in London, United Kingdom, on a three-day visit to attend the state funeral of British Queen Elizabeth II and offer condolences on behalf of the government of India.
The Queen’s funeral is scheduled to be held on September 19 at Westminster Abbey, the historic church where Britain’s kings and queens are crowned.
The UK’s longest-serving monarch died peacefully on 8 September at her Scottish estate Balmoral at 96. After her death, her son has been crowned as the king, and he has chosen to be called as King Charles III.
The Indian head of state arrived in London on Saturday evening. “President Droupadi Murmu arrives in London to attend the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted, along with two photos.
Aroud 500 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and royals from across the world, will take part in the funeral which will start at 11 am local time and conclude with a two-minute silence around the country an hour later.
Ahead of the funeral, Murmu is invited to a reception hosted by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace, which has been described as “official state event”, and all visiting heads of state, government and official overseas guests are expected to attend it.
On Sunday, a visit to Westminster Hall where the Queen’s coffin is Lying-in-State and Lancaster House nearby to sign a condolence book is also likely to be on President Murmu’s schedule.
The conclusion of the first state funeral in the UK in 57 years will be followed by a service and a private burial ceremony at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. The last state funeral was held for Britain’s war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.