The queen’s burial arrangement, scheduled for September 19, 2022, has begged the question of how effective the security measures are for the attending dignitaries. The concern was founded on the clauses included in the invite received by attendees.
The event, which is strictly by invitation, is to be attended together with spouses without delegates. Also, dignitaries attending from different parts of the world are advised not to use their private aeroplanes but instead commercial flights and wait at the airport for buses that will convey them to Westminster Abbey hall for the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.
The safety of the about 500 dignitaries, including over 100 kings, queens and heads of state attending from different parts of the world, has generated different reactions from various people.
The assistant to ex-President George W. Bush and chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, Anita McBride, said, “I can’t imagine any circumstances where the United States Security Service (USSS) would agree to any of that.”
However, the USSS is yet to make any statement regarding this despite the announcement of the press secretary of the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre, that president Joe Biden received an invite to the funeral. However, it was strictly for himself and the first lady.
With the question of whether the safety of the world leaders is to be compromised or not, The Times of London reported that the British government granted President Joe Biden an exemption. Hence, he will be conveyed to the event in his armoured limousine to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s burial.
What will be the level of security at the Queen’s burial?
While the idea of shared bus riding might seem absurd to people, in the United Kingdom, this is a norm, according to Dai Davis, who was in charge of protecting the queen and royal family from 1995 to 1998. He said that sometimes, the senior members of the royal family share a crowded bus with others.
Though a norm in Britain, the idea of buses might not be a good logistic alternative for the safety of the world leaders. He said, “For a start, I don’t think we even have any armoured buses. Even so, I’m not sure Biden and other world leaders would agree to do that.”
The British government will also need to consider the police and security services to know the plausible protection for the dignitaries and if it is practical and cost-effective.
Despite these considerations, the British government are yet to find the balance between the logistics and needs of the attending dignitaries and very important personals (VIPs) and the proper execution of the funeral event. This is, therefore, perceived as a lapse that might affect the event.