No Bad Optics Please: Global Leaders Told to Take Bus, Avoid Private Jets When Going to Queen’s Funeral

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Yeoman of the Guard disembark a bus as they arrive at the Houses of Parliament for King Charles address to parliament on September 12, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She …
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Foreign bigwigs looking to attend the Queen’s funeral have been asked to leave their private jets at home by the UK government.

Those dignitaries looking to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II have been reportedly asked by the UK government not to come to the event in a private jet, and that they will also be required to leave their personal cars and helicopters at home for the state occasion.

While justified with reference to logistical concerns, the request may also avoid negative headlines about the environmental impact of traffic jams in the skies of private planes on one hand, and allegations of hypocrisy from world leaders who preach net-zero for others but enjoy private air travel themselves. Similar was witnessed when Britain hosted the previous COP26 green agenda conference, which saw hundreds of gas-guzzling private jets arrive in the country carrying officials talking about climate change.

According to a report by POLITICO, official documents detailing the procedures for the funeral request that foreign dignitaries, including heads of state, arrive in Britain on commercial flights where possible.

For those that insist on using private jets, however, UK officials have requested that “less busy airports” around London are used, with the official document notifying foreign dignitaries that the city’s Heathrow airport will not be available for private flights or aircraft parking.

The rules are even more stringent when it comes to private cars and helicopters, with the UK reportedly outright banning helicopter transfers between airports and the funeral in Windsor, while the use of private cars to get to the venue itself will also reportedly be banned or discouraged.

Instead, foreign heads of state will reportedly be bussed from an unnamed dispersal location in West London to the funeral, a fact that apparently particularly irked one unnamed foreign official.

“Can you imagine Joe Biden on the bus?” they reportedly complained, despite President Biden himself being a vocal ally for further investment in public transport.

According to the report citing the leaked document, at least some of the restrictions in place for the funeral have been imposed for logistical reasons, with helicopter flights, in particular, being banned due to “the number of flights operating at this time.”

However, the measures may also somewhat mitigate the embarrassment of green agenda-loving UK officials who have spent the last decade imposing ever more restrictions on the general public, while also still seemingly being allowed to maintain their own high carbon lifestyles.

For example, many bigwigs attending the COP26 climate agenda summit in Glasgow last year to pontificate to the public on lowering carbon emissions arrived in Britain on private jets, a method of travel that somewhat undermined their core message.

Ultimately, over 400 of the aircraft type arrived in Glasgow for the conference, with even Boris Johnson using a private jet to get home after the event, despite the event being located within his own, relatively small country. An overnight train service could have returned him to London in comfort, had he been so minded.

More recently, the UK’s newly minted Prime Minister Liz Truss caused outrage by travelling to certain Conservative Party leadership contest debates in a private helicopter, greatly upsetting many eco-warriors.

Indeed, Boris Johnson’s final act as Prime Minister last week was to travel on a private jet, a considerable rebuke of his premiership’s focus on green matters.

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