Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

A delegation of Chinese officials has reportedly been barred from visiting the historic hall of parliament where Queen Elizabeth II rests, as geopolitics cast a shadow over the monarch’s death ceremony.

The row erupted when the government said it was temporarily stopping people from joining the queue to pass the Queen’s coffin because there were 2-hour waits for those at the back. On Friday morning, the motorcade stretched eight kilometers from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London and then around the park.

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Queue to watch Queen Elizabeth lie on pause as wait times increase

The government says the park is now full and queuing has been “paused” for at least six hours.

China’s ambassador to the UK has been banned from parliament for a year after Beijing sanctioned seven British MPs last year for speaking out against China’s treatment of the Uyghur minority in the far western region of Xinjiang.

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House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle’s office declined to comment Friday on a report in Politico that the Chinese delegation was barred from visiting the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.

Click to play video: 'London police prepare for major security challenges ahead of Queen's funeral'

London police are preparing for major security challenges ahead of the Queen’s funeral

London police are preparing for major security challenges ahead of the Queen’s funeral

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said she had not seen the report, but said that as the host of the Queen’s funeral, the UK should “abide by diplomatic protocols and proper manners for receiving guests”.

A Chinese delegation is expected to attend the Queen’s funeral on Monday, which is at Westminster Abbey, not Parliament. Funeral organizers have not released a list of guests and it is not clear who from China might attend.

British lawmakers under sanctions wrote to officials this week expressing concern that the Chinese government had been invited to the Queen’s state funeral on Monday.

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Conservative MP Tim Loughton told the BBC that the invitation to China should be withdrawn, citing the country’s human rights abuses and treatment of Uyghurs.

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Long queues did not prevent mourners from seeing Queen Elizabeth: ‘We lost someone special’

After a day out of public view on Thursday, King Charles III traveled to Wales on Friday for the final leg of his tour of the countries that make up the United Kingdom following the death of his mother last week after 70 years on the throne.

Charles, who was the Prince of Wales for decades before coming to the throne, 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 returns to London later on Friday and will hold a brief vigil by his mother’s coffin in the evening with his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

┬ę 2022 The Canadian Press

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