US President Joe Biden will attend the Queen’s funeral with his wife Jill next week, officials have confirmed.
The head of state is set to go to the service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19, along with dozens of other world leaders.
However, the world’s most powerful politician faces the prospect of being asked to catch a coach service to the venue, after it was claimed attendees will be a banned from arriving in private transport.
Dignitaries will be made to arrive in escorted coaches and ‘because of tight security and road restrictions’, they will not be allowed to use their private state vehicles, it is reported.
Those who decide to go face the prospect of being bussed in from West London on the morning of the service – a reception with King Charles III is set to take place at Buckingham Palace for foreign leaders the night before.
US President Joe Biden, pictured here at a ceremony commemorating the 9/11 attacks today, will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
The Queen’s funeral will be held on Monday, September 19, after 10 days of national mourning. Pictured is her cortege arriving at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today
According to leaked documents seen by Politico, constraints on space in the historic building mean that only heads of states and their spouses or partners will be invited.
This means Mr Biden and his wife Jill would be the entirety of the US delegation after the White House confirmed today he was planning on attending.
Politico reported that a communication from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) was sent to embassies late on Saturday.
The Department said it ‘regrets that, because of limited space at the state funeral service and associated events, no other members of the principal guest’s family, staff or entourage may be admitted,’ it was reported.
Heads of state unable to attend may choose someone else as their official representative.
According to the document, world leaders have also been urged to travel on commercial flights and have been told they cannot use helicopters to travel around the UK.
The FCDO urged commercial travel ‘where possible’, Politico said.
‘Multiple and comprehensive layers of security will be in place across London and at all the official venues used for the state funeral and associated events,’ according to a FCDO document seen by Politico.
Meanwhile, the use of helicopter transfers between airports and venues has been prohibited ‘due to the number of flights operating at this time’, it was reported.
Politico said that the document also set out some of the engagements for heads of state surrounding the funeral.
Heads of state from around the world will gather at Westminster Abbey (pictured) for Her Majesty’s funeral next week
This includes receptions hosted by the King and the new Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, an offer to visit the Queen’s body when it is lying in state and to sign a book of condolence at Lancaster House.
It reported that foreign leaders will be invited to deliver a tribute to the Queen while at Lancaster House, but it can only last up to three minutes.
And ‘because of the extensive ceremonial programme related to the state funeral and the logistical challenges, requests for bilaterals will not be considered on this occasion,’ according to the leaked document.
The FCDO has been approached for comment.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died at her summer home in Balmoral, Scotland, on Thursday at the age of 96, prompting an outpouring of grief in the UK and around the world.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in the streets of Edinburgh today to witness Her Majesty being transported to the Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Queen passed away at Balmoral Castle on Thursday, September 8, at the age of 96
Her eldest son, Charles, was proclaimed as king yesterday, while today her coffin was moved from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of the Scottish capital as her cortege arrived, while family members such as Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and the Earl and Countess of Wessex were present as it drove into the city.
They gave her a guard of honour, along with the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers), as she was carried into the royal palace.
She will rest overnight in Edinburgh before she is carried to St Giles Cathedral in the city in the afternoon, during which she will be accompanied by the King and other family members.
Her body will then lie in rest in the cathedral for until Tuesday, when it will be flown to RAF Northolt by a military plane. She will be accompanied by Princess Anne on this journey.
On Wednesday afternoon Her Majesty’s body will travel in a public procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where the coffin will be placed on a raised platform and topped with the Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre.
It will be guarded 24-hours-a-day by soldiers and for the next four days will lie in state until the morning of her funeral on Monday, September 19.
The coffin will then be taken by procession to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service which is expected to see heads of state from around the world attend.
After this service she will then be taken in a hearse to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Chapel, where a committal service will take place.