Were Asian and African leaders forced to take the bus, while Western leaders were driven in limos, to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Asian + African Leaders Forced To Take Bus To Queen’s Funeral!
Many people are claiming that Western leaders were driven in limos to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, but African and Asian leaders had to take the bus! Here are some examples :
A video by a Malaysian TikToker who calls himself ArtieKohDr has gone viral making the same claims on WhatsApp:
Truth : Limo For A Few Leaders, Bus For Everyone Else @ Queen’s Funeral!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and circulated on social media, and WhatsApp, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Bus Only Used For Short Trip To Westminster Abbey
First, I should point out that buses were only used to transport invited world leaders and VIPs for a short trip.
Those who were invited to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral all arrived in their own vehicles at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, where they disembarked.
The dignitaries then rode a fleet of buses for a short 3 km ride to Westminster Abbey – a trip that lasted less than 10 minutes.
This “park and ride” plan was meant to reduce security and logistical difficulties in transporting so many dignitaries to Westminster Abbey, amidst the huge crowds gathered there.
Fact #2 : Only President Biden Was Allowed To Use His Own Car
US security protocol required President Joe Biden to travel in an armoured Cadillac known as The Beast.
Hence, he was the only leader to receive special permission to travel to Westminster Abbey in The Beast, escorted by other vehicles.
However, that didn’t turn out well when his motorcade got stuck in a traffic jam, and his car came to a standstill near the Marble Arch – a significant security risk.
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Fact #3 : All Other Invited Guests Took The Bus
With the singular exception of US President Joe Biden, the claim that Western leaders were driven in limos to the Queen’s funeral is nonsense.
Everyone else had to park at Royal Hospital Chelsea and take the bus to Westminster Abbey. They included both Western, African and Eastern leaders like :
- Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
- King Abdullah II of Jordan
- Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan
- Kenyan President William Ruto
- Malaysian Agong Al-Mustafa Billah Shah
- Singaporean President Halimah Yacob
- Japanese Emperor Naruhito
- Polish President Andrzej Duda, and
- German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
While some “prima donnas” were (allegedly) annoyed by the need to take the bus, many were happy enough to be amongst the few to be invited at all, and had no issues taking the bus.
Fact #4 : Many Asian + African Leaders Were Seated In Front At Funeral
While President Joe Biden was given the exceptional privilege of driving directly to the Queen’s funeral in his own car, he was seated behind many Asian and African leaders.
However, this was not a snub or payback for allowing him to be driven to the funeral in The Beast.
The royal funeral seating protocol strictly prioritises royalty and Commonwealth leaders over all other leaders, even those from much larger / influential countries.
Hence, President Joe Biden was seated 14 rows to the back, behind many African and Asian leaders. A point that many who complained about Western bias against African and Asian leaders seem to have conveniently ignored.
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