Funeral Elizabeth II: Ramaphosa, Kagame, Akufo-Addo… Who will attend the funeral of the Queen?

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Sunday, 18 September 2022 19:46, updated on Monday, 19 September 2022 13:25

A tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Kampala on September 15
A tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Kampala on September 15 © Luke Dray/Getty Images via AFP

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place in London on the morning of 19 September. Many African presidents will be present at this global event.

Elizabeth II’s state funeral, the first since Winston Churchill’s death in 1965, will take place at 10am GMT on 19 September at Westminster Abbey, before the Queen is laid to rest in a private ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Nearly 2,000 guests are expected to attend the funeral, which will be broadcast around the world: royalty, but also around 500 foreign dignitaries, including many presidents and ministers.

Those who will make the trip…

A number of African heads of state, many of whom have made their messages of condolence public, will be present. Among them, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo, William Ruto, just elected president of Kenya, and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.

Ali Bongo Ondimba (whose country, Gabon, joined the Commonwealth at the end of June), Macky Sall – also current president of the African Union – and Azali Assoumani (who will be accompanied by his wife). will also travel to pay their last respects to the Queen, who died on 8 September in Scotland at the age of 96. Kings have also been invited, including the ruler of Ashanti, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, and that of Lesotho, Letsie III.

… and the great absentees

Among the absentees: Félix Tshisekedi, Alassane Ouattara, Patrice Talon, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh and Faustin-Archange Touadéra, most of whom will go directly to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, which opens on 20 September.

The Ivorian delegation will be led by Abdourahmane Cissé, the secretary general of the presidency; Paul Biya and Umaro Sissoco Embaló will be represented by their respective prime ministers, Joseph Dion Ngute and Nuno Gomes Nabiam; Félix Tshisekedi by the president of the National Assembly, Christophe Mboso; Muhammadu Buhari by his vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo; and George Weah by his ambassador to the UK, Gurly Gibson Schwarz.

King Mohammed VI, as is traditional, will send his brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, or his son, Moulay El Hassan. Moroccan kings never attend funerals.

As for the heads of state of the transitions in Mali, Guinea and Chad, there is very little chance that they will make the trip. For example, Mamadi Doumbouya has not left Conakry since 5 September 2021, the day he overthrew Alpha Condé.

Finally, contrary to a letter falsely attributed to Buckingham Palace, according to the UK embassy in Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa has been invited to the funeral.

He will be represented by his foreign minister, Frederick Shava.

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