Cyril Ramaphosa Joins World Leaders to Pay Respect to Queen Elizabeth II
Cyril Ramaphosa Joins World Leaders to Pay Respect to Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Reuters screenshot

Reuters – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by SA’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, joined other world leaders to pay his respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday (September 18) as her body lies in state in London’s Westminster Hall in the UK.

Britain mourns Queen Elizabeth Ramaphosa
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin is lying in state on the catafalque at Westminster Hall on September 18, 2022 in London, England. Chip Somodevilla/Pool via REUTERS

President Ramaphosa paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth, on the eve of her state funeral, by signing a book of condolences for the late royal.

Around 500 guests representing nearly 200 countries and territories are expected to attend the funeral on Monday, including 100 presidents and heads of government and over 20 royals. (See names listed below.) Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have descended on London to mourn the passing of the Queen.

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque, in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, in London, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS

After the state funeral tomorrow, President Ramaphosa will be heading back to South Africa to attend to the Eskom crisis, which has plunged SA into Stage 6 loadshedding. The SA president has cut short his overseas trip which was meant to see him fly to New York after London.

Queen Elizabeth’s body has been lying in state at the historic Westminster Hall since Wednesday (September 14), and thousands of people from all walks of life and from around the world have been filing past in a constant, emotional stream, with many queuing overnight and some for up to 24 hours.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Trinidad and Tobago President Paula Mae-Weekes, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, and Singapore President Halimah Yacob were also seen looking on from the balcony at around the same time as President Ramaphosa.

Queen Elizabeth II – Britain’s longest-reigning monarch – passed away in her holiday home on September 8th at Balmoral Castle, in the Scottish Highlands, at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign, plunging the nation into mourning.

World leaders to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

World leaders descend on London ahead of Queen Elizabeth's funeral
World leaders, including US President Joe Biden (who met with President Ramaphosa in Washington DC on Friday) descend on London ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. Photo: Reuters keyframe

Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral will take place in London on Monday, Sept. 19, and a host of world leaders, royalty and other dignitaries will attend.

The following are some of the expected attendees, and the countries that were not invited:


– Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan

– King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

– King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain

– Juan Carlos, former king of Spain, his wife Queen Sofia

– King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium

– Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary

– King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden

– King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway

– King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

– Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah

– Jordan’s King Abdullah

– Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki bin Mohammed al Saud

– Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah

– King of Lesotho, Letsie III

– Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein

– Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henri

– Malaysian Sultan Abdullah of Pahang

– Prince of Monaco, Albert II

– Crown Prince of Morocco, Moulay Hassan

– Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq al-Said

– Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

– President of UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

– King of Tonga, Tupou VI



– Joe Biden and Jill Biden, President and first lady of the United States

– Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

– Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil

– Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago

– Sandra Mason, President of Barbados

– Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica

– Floyla Tzalam, Governor General of Belize

– Susan Dougan, Governor General of St Vincent and the Grenadines


– Emmanuel Macron, President of France

– Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Germany

– Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy

– Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

– Micheál Martin, Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland

– Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal

– Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria

– Katalin Novak, President of Hungary

– Andrzej Duda, President of Poland

– Egils Levits, President of Latvia

– Gitanas Nauseda, President of Lithuania

– Sauli Niinisto, President of Finland

– Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece

– George Vella, President of Malta

– Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus

– Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister

– Charles Michel, President of the European Council

– Ursula von der Leyen, President of European Commission

– Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO

– Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt

– Isaac Herzog, President of Israel

– Mohammad Shtayyeh, Palestinian Prime Minister


– Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa

– Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria

– Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

– William Ruto, President of Kenya

– Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda

– Ali Bongo, President of Gabon

– General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s military leader

– Christophe Mboso N’kodia, National Assembly president in Democratic Republic of Congo


– Droupadi Murmu, President of India

– Wang Qishan, Vice President of China

– Ranil Wickremesinghe, President of Sri Lanka

– Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh

– Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

– Anthony Albanese, Australian Prime Minister

– Yoon Suk-yeol, South Korean President

– Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore


– Britain has invited heads of state or a representative at an ambassadorial level from any country with which it has full diplomatic relations.

Countries that have not been invited include Syria and Venezuela because London does not currently have normal diplomatic relations with those states. Britain has also not invited representatives from Russia, Belarus or Myanmar after it imposed economic sanctions on those countries.

(Compiled by Farouq Suleiman and Kate Holton; Editing by Deepa Babington and Frances Kerry)