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Guest list of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral requires some delicate diplomacy

Sean O'Grady


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The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown placed on top, is carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, during the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London. PA

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown placed on top, is carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, during the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London. PA

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown placed on top, is carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, during the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London. PA

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II broke many records in her long life and reign, and her funeral seems set to be another unprecedented event. Perhaps strangely, this is the first funeral to be held at Westminster Abbey since George II’s in 1760. Most royal funerals since have been small, simple family services at Windsor — those of George VI in 1952 and the Duke of Windsor, the former Edward VIII, in 1972. The other exception is Richard III, interred at Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

This is going to be a far more ambitious operation, with a formidable guest list. Because the House of Windsor, and its predecessors, followed the dynasto-diplomatic European tradition of intermarrying families for the purposes of building alliances, the queen was related to almost every royal house in London, deposed or not. Indeed she married her (third) cousin, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, albeit for love, which added another dimension to the family tree.


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