How Many People Attended Queen Elizabeth's Funeral?.... British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, who died at 96 on Sept. 8, after ruling for 70 years, received a lavish state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, with as many as two million people lining the streets to see her cortege.
International dignitaries attending alongside the British royal family included President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden and all of the heads of the Commonwealth including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Indian President Droupadi Murmu and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Joining them was President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska and the presidents of Austria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Poland, among other representatives.
The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II may end up being one of the most historical events of the early twenty-first century. It earns this ranking not only because of the length of Queen Elizabeth’s rule but because of how the event is a crystal clear example of modernity rubbing up against what is left of a colonial, feudal, and archaic system of governance. The notion that some, because of their birth, are endowed with certain rights to rule over others runs counter to democratic ideals, the capitalist meritocratic imagination, as well as the right to self-determination invoked by decolonial movements which protested British rule during the 20th century.
Just like in the United Kingdom, the reaction to the Queen’s passing is mixed in former British colonies. The world is very different today than when Queen Elizabeth II rose to power in 1952, and interestingly enough, it is her death that brings such differences to light.
The legacy of Queen Elizabeth II as an active participant in British colonialism is a conversation worthy of attention but will not form part of the funeral events that are expected to attract over 2,000 high-profile guests. As a sign of respect, over five hundred foreign leaders will make their way to London for the Queen’s funeral. In addition to these guests, authors, spiritual leaders, celebrities, and other public figures will join mourners as the world says bids farewell to a major historical figure.