While most countries around the world have been invited to send their head of state to the Queen’s state funeral next week, Syria, Venezuela and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan join Russia, Belarus and Myanmar on the list of nations not asked to send a representative.
All holders of the Victoria Cross or George Cross will be able to attend the Queen’s funeral. Invitations are being sent to most nations with which the UK has diplomatic ties.
This includes North Korea, Nicaragua and Iran, although they have been invited only at ambassadorial level.
The UK does not have diplomatic relations with Syria or Venezuela, while the political situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban swept to power a year ago means no representative has been invited from Kabul.
While most nations can send their leader or appointed delegate plus a guest, the Commonwealth realms, which retain the monarch as head of state, are being granted extra representation.
The realms can send prime ministers plus a guest, governors general plus a guest and the high commissioner.
They are also allowed to bring 10 ordinary citizens – Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has already said his country’s representatives had been invited by Buckingham Palace for their “extraordinary contributions to their communities”.