World leaders attending queen’s funeral take bus ride

The funeral tries to minimize carbon footprint from dignitaries

LONDON (AFP) — Foreign leaders and their spouses attending Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral have been asked to arrive in Britain on commercial flights and use coaches provided to reach the service, reports have said.

Only heads of state and their spouse, or another senior representative and their partner, have been invited to the first state funeral in the United Kingdom in nearly six decades, according to news website Politico.

Attendees have been told not to use their own vehicles to reach the service at Westminster Abbey, Politico reported on Sunday.

The visiting dignitaries will be transported en masse to the central London Abbey in escorted coaches from a site in west London where they will have parked, the report said, citing an official protocol message sent to overseas embassies by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.

They cannot use options such as helicopters to cross the British capital, the official document, which was reportedly sent out on Saturday, said.

“Tight security and road restrictions” were cited as the reasons for the unusual requirements for foreign VIP.

The purported stipulations have raised eyebrows, with one London-based foreign ambassador telling Politico: “Can you imagine Joe Biden on the bus?”

United States presidents travel long-distance on Air Force One aircraft — typically one of two customized Boeing 747 planes — and then use their Marine One helicopter and an armored limousine dubbed “The Beast” to get around.

The FCDO and US Embassy in London did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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