The convention that the Queen’s funeral won’t be used for government business may be bent on Monday, with U.S. President Joe Biden now reportedly due to have private discussions with the new UK Prime Minister.
U.S. President Joe Biden is now set to have a private meeting with newly minted UK Prime Minister Liz Truss before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, despite such a meeting breaking rules set out by the UK’s own government regarding the major event.
Unlike normal bilateral meetings, there will be no photocall or public element — the discussions will be purely between leaders, in private, before the funeral ceremony begins.
The change is the second accommodation to the U.S. President to facilitate his presence, with an early UK government request that VIPs attending consider the environment by not attending by private jet, helicopter, and limousine swept away for Biden.
According to a report by The Times, officials from both countries are keen to keep the meetings “low key”, with insiders reportedly saying that no pictures are to be taken, and no press release published as to the content of the discussions.
And the meeting between Truss and Biden is not the only low-key talk scheduled to coincide with almost every world leader being in London at the same time, with The Times reporting bilateral discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are also now being considered.
No Bad Optics Please: Global Leaders Told to Take Bus, Avoid Private Jets When Going to Queen’s Funeral https://t.co/5orQNlyXRB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 12, 2022
The U-turn on the decision not to hold any private meetings in respect for the Queen is only the latest of many reversed decisions to do with Monday’s funeral.
For example, British authorities had initially demanded that foreign officials not use private cars or helicopters to attend Monday’s ceremony, insisting that all attendees would be shipped en masse to the event by bus.
Whitehall also requested that those going to the funeral avoid using private and government jets to get to Britain under the justification that logistically such arrivals could cause problems.
Suggesting that foreign bigwigs come via commercial flights instead, the request — if adhered to — would have the added bonus of allowing green-obsessed UK authorities to avoid the embarrassment of having hundreds of private aircraft pile up across various UK airports, which is what happened during a major climate summit in the country in 2021.
The rule forcing all attendees to arrive by bus was outright scrapped after foreign dignitaries complained, with Joe Biden now being given explicit permission to use his Secret Service transport, ‘The Beast’ bulletproof limousine.
Then the request to leave all private planes at home was discredited, with Australian officials outright refusing to leave their aircraft at home, with the country’s Prime Minister arguing that they had already received permission to bring the plane to Britain years in advance, with plans for the event having been drawn up long before the Queen actually died.
“Those plans have been in place for a long period of time. Since well before I became Prime Minister,” the Australian leader said, insisting that he would be taking the private plane to the UK.
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