Agong & Other World Leaders Take Bus To Queen's Funeral While US President Arrives In Limo
While attending Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in the UK, the Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong joined other world leaders in a bus to arrive at Westminster Abbey for the service on Monday, 19 September.
But one leader was able to get to the destination in the comfort of his own limousine, and that was US President Joe Biden.
AFP reported as early as last week that foreign leaders and their spouses attending Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral were told to fly commercial into Britain and take buses to reach the service.
A source at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office said about 500 foreign dignitaries are expected to attend Britain's first state funeral in six decades as officials mount "a huge-scale operation" for the event on Monday.
"The logistics have been meticulously planned to try to make it as smooth as possible for those attending," the source added.
With that said, Joe and his wife, Jill Biden, were allowed to fly on Air Force One and touch down at London Stansted Airport on Saturday night, 17 September
Biden did not pull into Westminster Abbey with just one vehicle. A large motorcade followed him as he entered the building.
The Independent UK reported that Biden was given special permission to use an armoured limousine, known as 'The Beast', at the Queen's funeral.
He and his wife were apparently late for the service due to the arrangement, reported The Guardian.
A video of the sight has gone viral on Twitter, garnering over 3.9 million views at the time of writing.
The caption of the video suggests that many world leaders received the treatment they gave to their respective citizens while they were attending Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.
Meanwhile, the reply under the viral video shows photos of a bus that world leaders and dignitaries were travelling in
Among them was Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who was standing beside Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo.
A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Liz Truss clarified that the advisory issued to world leaders to travel on commercial flights and board shuttle buses was merely a guidance and not a requirement for heads of state.
During the service, many world leaders opted for the buses and abided by the advisory.
Those who travelled by bus include Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, among others, reported BuzzFeed News.
In a report on Monday, New Straits Times reported that the Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah were also taken to the Buckingham Palace by bus on Sunday night, 18 September, for a reception hosted by King Charles III and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla.
Additionally, in the lead-up to the funeral, British newspaper The Sunday Times was embroiled in controversy for describing world leaders other than Biden as "lesser"
The Sunday Times reported that Biden could travel in his armoured limousine in the UK, while other "lesser world leaders will have to make do with a shared bus".
Many people around the world slammed the newspaper for calling their leaders "lesser", which in this context can mean "lower in rank" and "not so great or important as the other or the rest".
Despite the public outcry, the tweet carrying the controversial description was still up until today.