THE wife of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will join world leaders at the Queen’s funeral.
First Lady Olena Zelenska is among 500 heads of state and dignitaries invited to the service and a VIP reception hosted by King Charles the day before.
This weekend, world leaders will arrive in London and pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth with visits to Westminster Hall, where she is in state.
While Russian despot Vladimir Putin was not invited, Olena Zelenska will represent him and her country.
A source said: “The presence of Olena Zelenska is another sign of global support for Ukraine while Russia is isolated.
“Britain is one of Ukraine’s most loyal allies. Your presence at the funeral is a sign of that friendship and mutual respect.”
The source added that she will be flying back to Ukraine once the ceremony ends on Monday.
Dozens of members of foreign royal families – including Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, and King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium – will be among the 2,000 mourners at Westminster Abbey.
More than 30 heads of state will also attend, including US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill, French Emmanuel Macron, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Sri Der Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
NHS bigwigs including Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard will be among the mourners.
They will join nearly 200 key workers and volunteers on the Queen’s Birthday Honors Roll, including Ella Marks, 88, who attended George VI’s coronation. participated in 1937.
On the evening before the funeral, King Charles III. and his wife Camilla foreign VIPs at a reception at Buckingham Palace.
It will be the largest gathering of world leaders in modern history and the first state occasion at the palace, which is undergoing a £360million refurbishment since President Donald Trump’s visit more than three years ago.
Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, 38 yesterday, and his wife Meghan were not invited.
It comes as…
The dress code for the event in the Palace’s Picture Gallery and State Rooms is lounge suits as the royal family is in mourning.
A spokesman for The King said: “This is one of the final moments for Her Majesty the Queen as opposed to the first for His Majesty.”
Dignitaries are taken to the funeral by bus.
They were ordered to gather at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and to travel under “collective arrangements,” a palace source said.
King Charles spent yesterday speaking to world leaders and accepting his condolences.
He has also asked to meet staff from all emergency services to thank them for their help in arranging the funeral.
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