King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, who arrived in London on Sunday morning for the Monday funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, gathered in the early evening in front of the coffin of the deceased, who died on September 8 at the age of 96.
The royal couple arrived at Westminster Hall, Britain’s oldest chamber of parliament where the coffin is on display, shortly before 20:00 local time, according to photos. Belgium's royals were just two of many heads of state and government who followed one another on Sunday to pay a last tribute to the queen.
Also paying their respects were American President Joe Biden, accompanied by his wife Jill, French President Emmanuel Macron, who came with his wife Brigitte, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the King of Spain, Felipe VI. Foreign dignitaries were then to be received at Buckingham Palace in the early evening for King Charles III’s first major diplomatic meeting.
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More than 200 leaders had been invited. In total some 2,000 guests, including heads of state and government from around the world, will meet on Monday morning at Westminster Abbey, where Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953, for the culmination of tributes paid in immense emotion since the death of the monarch to planetary popularity.