Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) will today leave for the United Kingdom to represent Nigeria at a number of events today and Monday during the state funeral for the late Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
According to a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Prof. Osinbajo will join members of the royal family, world leaders including members of the Commonwealth heads of state, governors-general, prime ministers and foreign royal families at the ceremonies, including the funeral service scheduled to hold at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
Ahead of the service, he said the vice president would be among guests and dignitaries to be received by King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla at a reception in Buckingham Palace today. Earlier today, he will hold a bilateral meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly.
Queen Elizabeth II was the Head of the Commonwealth and the longest serving British monarch. She passed on at 96 on the 8th of September this year at the Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
“The vice president will return to Nigeria after Monday’s state funeral,” he added.
Meanwhile, King Charles III met leaders from his new Commonwealth realms yesterday ahead of his mother’s ornate funeral, after a security scare interrupted her sombre lying-in-state.
Princes William and Harry were later set to lead a vigil of Queen Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren at her coffin, joining tens of thousands of members of the public who have been queuing round the clock for days.
Those inside parliament’s Westminster Hall for the lying-in-state received a shock late on Friday when a man burst out of the line and approached the coffin, which sits topped with the Imperial State Crown.
A live television feed of the mourners briefly cut away around 10pm (2100 GMT) as police detained the man, two hours after Charles and his three siblings had held their own vigil in the cavernous hall.
“He was arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody,” London’s Metropolitan Police said.
The queen’s death on September 8 at 96, after a record-breaking 70 years on the throne, has sparked an outpouring of emotion.
Members of the public are braving waits that have stretched to more than 25 hours, and chilly night-time temperatures, to view her flag-shrouded coffin.
Lines have snaked for miles along the River Thames since Wednesday when her coffin was brought to the UK parliament complex.
Some 435 people have needed medical treatment, often for head injuries after fainting in the queue, the London Ambulance Service said.
Police are mounting Britain’s biggest-ever security operation for Monday’s funeral, as hundreds of dignitaries including US President Joe Biden are set to jet in.
Charles was due to meet with the prime ministers of the Commonwealth realms — the 14 former colonies over which he now reigns in addition to the United Kingdom – later on Saturday.
From Australia and Canada to Jamaica and Papua New Guinea, they have formally proclaimed him their new sovereign.
But republican movements are gaining ground in many of the countries, and efforts to keep them all in the royal fold will likely