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Queen’s funeral: Joe Biden won’t have to get on bus with other leaders

Queen’s funeral: Joe Biden won’t have to get on bus with other leaders

P

resident Joe Biden will not have to board a bus to travel to the Queen’s funeral on Monday — but other world leaders will be expected to surrender their limousines.

An exception on security grounds is to be made for the US President that will allow him and the First Lady to travel in the armour-plated Cadillac known as the “Beast” to Westminster Abbey.

More than 100 heads of state, prime ministers and members of European royal families are expected to attend the service, the first state funeral since the death of Winston Churchill 57 years ago.

But this has created a massive diplomatic and security challenge for Scotland Yard, leading to the proposal to use a convoy of buses to transport the VIPs from a secret location in west London.

King Felipe of Spain and Emperor Naruhito of Japan are due to attend, alongside the prime ministers of Canada, Justin Trudeau, New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, and Australia, Anthony Albanese.

It is thought Japan’s emperor, President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Isaac Herzog of Israel will also be permitted to use their own transport.

One government source told The Times that it would not be appropriate to ask G7 leaders to “take a bus” — though a fleet of electric London buses was used to ferry VIPs to dinner at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow last November. Instead, dignitaries were being asked to be as flexible as possible.

Members of other European royal families in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden will also travel to London.

Foreign leaders have reportedly been asked to travel by commercial flight rather than private jet and told that helicopters will not be permitted.

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