Chinese delegation barred from Queen’s casket: Report

LONDON: A delegation of Chinese officials has reportedly been barred from visiting the historic hall of the The Storting where Queen Elizabeth II lies in state, while geopolitics cast a shadow over the solemn spectacle surrounding the monarch’s death.
The spat erupted when the government said it was temporarily stopping people from joining the queue to walk past the Queen’s coffin as waiting times for those at the back reached 14 hours. On Friday morning, the line stretched 8km from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London and then around the park.
The government says the park is now full and entry to the queue will be “paused” for at least six hours.
The Chinese ambassador to Britain has been banned from parliament for a year after Beijing sanctioned seven British lawmakers last year for speaking out against China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority in the far-western Xinjiang region.
The office of House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle on Friday refused to comment on media reports that the Chinese delegation has been barred from visiting the Queen’s casket in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said she had not seen the report, but said Britain hosting the queen’s funeral should “follow the diplomatic protocols and proper manners to receive guests”.
A Chinese delegation is expected to attend the Queen’s funeral on Monday, which is at Westminster Abbey rather than Parliament. The organizers of the funeral have not published a guest list, and it is unclear who from China may attend.
The sanctioned British lawmakers wrote to officials this week expressing concern that the Chinese government has been invited to the queen’s state funeral on Monday.
Conservative lawmaker Tim Loughton told the BBC that the invitation to China should be withdrawn, citing the country’s human rights abuses and treatment of Uyghurs.
After a day out of the public eye on Thursday, King Charles III traveled to Wales on Friday on the final leg of his tour of the nations that make up Britain in the wake of his mother’s death last week after 70 years on the throne.
Charles, who for decades before his accession to the throne was the Prince of Wales, is visiting Llandaff in Cardiff for a service of prayer and reflection in honor of his late mother and will receive condolences from the Welsh Parliament, the Senedd.
Charles will return to London later on Friday and will briefly stand vigil at his mother’s coffin in the evening with his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

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