Monday’s funeral for Queen Elizabeth II attracted the attention of leaders from around the world, including that of President Joe Biden. Current and former U.K. prime ministers attended, as well as other royalty from around the world.
The funeral, which took place at Westminster Abbey and included more than 2,000 guests, invited members of the British royal family and global dignitaries. Though the British monarchy holds more of a symbolic place as head of state than a practical function of the government, there’s a draw for global leaders to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who until her death at the age of 96 held the position as head of state in the U.K. through decades of monumental change, not only for the British Isles, but around the world. As Biden himself said before taking the trip to London, “It’s a loss that leaves a giant hole.”
There are certainly a lot of questions to be answered still about what kind of place the monarchy will hold in the U.K. now that King Charles III has taken the throne, but the memorial for Britain’s longest-reigning queen was certainly a meaningful place for heads of their own states to stop by and pay their respects.