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Strongman world leaders descend on London for Queen’s funeral as Brazil’s populist ruler addresses crowd English Headline


WORLD leaders have descended on London for the Queen’s funeral, including Brazil’s strongman leader Jair Bolsonaro.

The right-wing populist president addressed a rally from the windows of his country’s embassy as he stoked-up the flag-waving crowd that had gathered outside.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, centre, and his wife Michelle Bolsonaro pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, centre, and his wife Michelle Bolsonaro pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffinCredit: Getty Images – Getty
It's unclear if Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will now attend the funeral

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It’s unclear if Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will now attend the funeralCredit: AP
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth

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US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill pay their respects to Queen ElizabethCredit: AFP
Many world leaders have already paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth's coffin which is currently lying in state in Westminster Hall

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Many world leaders have already paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth’s coffin which is currently lying in state in Westminster HallCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Canada's premier Justin Trudeau is due to attend the state funeral

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Canada’s premier Justin Trudeau is due to attend the state funeralCredit: Getty
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meeting with King Charles yesterday

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meeting with King Charles yesterdayCredit: Getty – Pool
Turkey's controversial leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also set to attend Monday's ceremony

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Turkey’s controversial leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also set to attend Monday’s ceremonyCredit: AP

The presence of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is now in doubt after a Foreign Office source revealed he was no longer expected.

However, sources close to the Saudi Embassy earlier confirmed that the Crown Prince would be visiting London this weekend.

Around 500 kings, queens, emperors, presidents, prime ministers along with other heads of states from around the world will make their way to London for the state funeral at Westminster Abbey tomorrow.

Security is expected to be extremely tight for the historic ceremony and snipers have already been seen on top of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea where dignitaries are due to gather before being bussed to Buckingham Palace today.

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King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla are set to host 1,000 VIPs who include US President Joe Biden, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian premier Justin Trudeau.

Other attendees will include European royalty along with members of the British royal family.

A minute’s silence in tribute to the Queen will be head at 8pm.

Many of the leaders are expected to visit the Queen’s coffin which will remain lying in state until tomorrow morning in Westminster Hall.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrived in the UK late last night, and unlike other world leaders won’t have to use a shuttlebus to the abbey, are expected to visit the Queen’s coffin today.

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and Colombia‘s First Lady Veronica Alcocer Gargia and Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva – who all arrived today – have already visited Westminster Hall.

The list of invited VIPs also includes a number of controversial strongmen, including Bolsonaro who fired up the crowd outside the Brazilian Embassy in London.

While there are doubts the Saudi leader, known by the abbreviation MBS, will attend the funeral he was set to hold talks with Prime Minister Liz Truss on Sunday evening.

Outrage around the world was sparked after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered in Turkey in 2018.

Also on the guest list is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s authoritarian leader who has jailed hundreds of journalists and steadily dismantled the country’s democracy.

China is sending its vice-president Wang Qishan, after an invitation from the UK government.

The UK has opted to invite ambassadors, rather than heads of state, from some countries due to strained relations, including Iran, Nicaragua and North Korea.

A few countries have been completely excluded following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Although Putin is under a travel ban to the UK due to the sanctions in place he had previously stated he would not attend.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry though said that not inviting any representative from the country was “particularly blasphemous towards Elizabeth II’s memory” and “deeply immoral”.

Other countries without any invite include the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria and Venezuela.

The state funeral tomorrow involving so many world leaders, as well as the vast crowds expected on the streets will create an “unprecedented” security challenge, according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

“It’s been decades since this many world leaders were in one place,” Mr Khan said. “This is unprecedented … in relation to the various things that we’re juggling.”

“There could be bad people wanting to cause damage to individuals or to some of our world leaders,” he added. “So we are working incredibly hard – the police, the security services and many, many others – to make sure this state funeral is as successful as it can be.”

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Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said the “hugely complex” policing operation is the biggest in the London force’s history, surpassing the London 2012 Olympics.

For the funeral, more than 10,00 officers will be duty with the Met’s cops reinforced by police from all of Britain’s 43 forces.

Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina pay their respects as they pass the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II

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Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina pay their respects as they pass the coffin of Queen Elizabeth IICredit: AFP
President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde is one of hundreds of heads of state due to attend

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President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde is one of hundreds of heads of state due to attendCredit: Getty – Pool
India's President Droupadi Murmu and Acting High Commissioner Sujit Ghosh at Lancaster House

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India’s President Droupadi Murmu and Acting High Commissioner Sujit Ghosh at Lancaster HouseCredit: AFP
Colombia's Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva is expected to attend the state funeral

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Colombia’s Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva is expected to attend the state funeralCredit: Getty – Pool
Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Bisera Turkovic, signs a book of condolence at Lancaster House

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Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Bisera Turkovic, signs a book of condolence at Lancaster HouseCredit: Getty – Pool





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