World’s royals arrive in London: King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain lead the foreign monarchs who will join Charles for the ‘reception of the century’ ahead of the Queen’s funeral
- King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain have led the foreign royals arriving to pay tribute to the Queen
- The couple were spotted leaving the Spanish Embassy ahead of tonight’s ‘reception of the century’
- The Spanish king is a distant relative of the Queen and referred to her as his ‘dear Aunt Lilibet’ in a tribute
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Foreign royals have arrived in London to pay their respects to the Queen.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, and King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, were among the first monarchs to view the monarch lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.
Hundreds of emperors, kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and other foreign dignitaries are descending on London for Her Majesty’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey tomorrow.
Tonight, many of the leaders, including members of foreign royal families, will come together for a Buckingham Palace reception hosted by King Charles III which is being described as the ‘reception of the century’.
Representatives of more than 20 Royal Families are expected at the funeral, including the reigning monarchs of the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
Among the most anticipated attendees is the Emperor of Japan, who rarely makes overseas visits. King Jigme & Queen Jetsun of Bhutan and the Sultan of Brunei will also attend.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain have led the foreign royals arriving to pay tribute to the Queen ahead of her funeral tomorrow
The Spanish king and his former journalist wife will be among the heads of state who will gather at Buckingham Palace tonight for Prince Charles’s ‘reception of the century’. Pictured, waving to well-wishers in London on Sunday
The Spanish King and Queen were dressed in sombre black ahead of the reception at Buckingham Palace this evening
Felipe, son of disgraced former King Juan Carlos, is a distant cousin of the Queen and referred to Her Majesty as ‘dear Aunt Lilibet’. Pictured, with his wife Queen Letizia in London today
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain were spotted leaving the Spanish Embassy ahead of the Buckingham Palace reception
The Spanish King and Queen are set to join more than 500 leaders and heads of state for the ‘reception of the century’ tonight
On Sunday evening, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain were spotted waving to well-wishers as they left the Spanish Embassy for Westminster Hall.
Felipe, son of disgraced former King Juan Carlos, is a distant cousin of the Queen and referred to Her Majesty as ‘dear Aunt Lilibet’ in a personal tribute following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The king looked sombre in a black suit and tie as he and his stylish wife left the embassy for the Palace of Westminster.
The couple crossed themselves and bowed their heads as they filed past Her Majesty’s coffins. Visiting dignitaries have access to a VIP entrance and platform that means they can avoid the queue snaking through central London.
At around the same time, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden also filed into the hall to pay their respects.
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla are preparing to host 1,000 VIPs including US President Joe Biden, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, at Buckingham Palace this evening.
The list of dignitaries includes 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.
However, it also includes a string of controversial strongmen, including Bolsonaro, who was filmed today giving a thunderous speech from the windows of the Brazilian Embassy in London to a cheering crowd waving the national flag.
His allies hope his four-day international trip – first in London, then at the UN Assembly General session in New York – will sway some voters in the upcoming elections, give him some gravitas after almost four years of rifts with other world leaders and provide material for TV ads.
And today the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia confirmed that Mohammed Bin Salman, known by the abbreviation MBS, had been invited to attend the funeral.
He was set to hold talks with British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Sunday evening, despite international outrage after ordering Saudi agents to brutally murder and dismember Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018.
And Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the authoritarian ruler who has jailed hundreds of journalists and busily dismantled Turkish democracy, is also coming to the funeral.
China has announced it will send its vice-president, Wang Qishan, but was barred by parliamentary leaders from the lying-in-state.
Due to strained ties, the UK opted to invite ambassadors, not heads of state, from Iran, Nicaragua and North Korea. Meanwhile, Russia and Belarus are among a small group of nations excluded altogether following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Revealed: How the monarchies of Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Luxembourg are related to the Queen. All the major royal houses of Europe will be represented at the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey today