Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Which Arab leaders will attend?

Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Which Arab leaders will attend?
From Palestine to Libya, almost every country across the MENA region will have a presence in Westminster Abbey on Monday.
2 min read
18 September, 2022
The invitation of Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman has raised hackles in the UK and beyond [Bandar al-Galoud via Getty Images]

Global royalty, dignitaries, leaders and politicians are descending on London on Sunday ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, set to take place on Monday. 

The ceremony is likely to cost several million pounds, with one of the largest UK police operations in history to manage the event in the background. 

The space itself - Westminster Abbey - can hold up to 2,000 attendees, but only specially selected invitees will gain access during the funeral. 

Five hundred of those seats will be filled by heads of state from around the world and foreign dignitaries - many of whom represent former British colonies

Joe and Jill Biden arrived in the UK on Sunday in time for an official state visit hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, alongside several other high profile visitors from around the world.

Arab heads of state and diplomats feature significantly on the invite list, with many royal figures from the Gulf maintaining close personal ties with the British royal household for decades. 

Jordan’s King Abdullah will be making an appearance, as well as the crown prince of Morocco Moulay Hassan. 

Gulf royalty paying their respects include the crown prince of Kuwait Sheikh Meshak al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tarek, and the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

All three countries received royal visits from high-ranking members of the royal family in the decade before the queen’s death.


The invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has caused a stir in Britain and beyond, as scrutiny of the de facto ruler’s human rights record continues in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder at the hands of the kingdom’s state officials.

Since he was invited, the prince is no longer expected to attend the official ceremony and has instead paid his respects privately.

Libya, which currently has two rival parliaments, has sent seasoned politician and diplomat Musa al-Koni to attend on behalf of the divided country. 

Mohammed Shtayyeh, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, will be making his way from Ramallah to represent Palestine at the funeral. 

Russian and Syrian representatives have not been offered a presence at the funeral, while Iran, North Korea and Nicaragua have been invited to send ambassadors instead of heads of state.

While funeral proceedings are underway, matters of state will be largely eschewed - though with the unprecedented gathering of global leaders in London, many diplomatic meetings are being scheduled for later in the week.