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Emmanuel Macron caused a diplomatic headache on the eve of the Queen’s funeral after ‘deliberately missing the coach to Buckingham Palace reception’… meaning Whitehall had to lay on a limo for him

  • Macron ‘deliberately missed’ the coach to the Buckingham Palace reception
  • World leaders were supposed to take coaches together at the Queen’s funeral
  • Whitehall were then forced to lay on a limousine for the French president

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Emmanuel Macron caused a diplomatic headache at the Queen’s funeral by ‘deliberately missing’ the coach to a reception at Buckingham Palace – so he could arrive in a diplomatic limo instead, Whitehall sources have revealed.

The sources claim the French President engineered the move by taking a prolonged walk with his wife which, because it played havoc with strict timings, forced the Government to lay on a limousine for him.

Sources told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Macron was perceived to be trying to obtain a similar exemption as US President Joe Biden, who was allowed to attend both the reception and the funeral in his official armoured car known as ‘The Beast’.

It is said to have caused such irritation among protocol officials in charge of the funeral logistics that the French government was warned that Mr Macron would not be able to claim the same privilege the following morning for the funeral itself.

The sources claim the French President engineered the move by taking a prolonged walk with his wife which forced the Government to lay on a limousine for him. Pictured: Macron and his wife Brigitte attend the State Funeral Service for the Queen

The sources claim the French President engineered the move by taking a prolonged walk with his wife which forced the Government to lay on a limousine for him. Pictured: Macron and his wife Brigitte attend the State Funeral Service for the Queen

Coaches were used to transport heads of state at the Queen's funeral in September 2022

Coaches were used to transport heads of state at the Queen’s funeral in September 2022

He took a coach with other leaders to the service at Westminster Abbey, although it is claimed he was ‘pretty much the last to board it’.

But an Elysee Palace source pushed back against the Whitehall claims, insisting that Mr Macron had been told in advance that he would be able to travel by car.

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla hosted the ‘reception of the century’ on the eve of the funeral, greeting scores of foreign dignitaries who had gathered in London to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

One Whitehall source said: ‘The suspicion was that Macron deliberately missed the coach to the Palace by dragging out his walk with his wife.

‘The gossip was that Macron felt he was too good to take the bus, and should be allowed to go in a car to the Palace like President Biden.’

Leaders gathered at pooling venues before making the short trip to the Abbey. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau made light of the arrangements, saying ‘a lot of great conversations happen on the bus’.

His Majesty King Charles III held the reception for Heads of State and overseas visitors at Buckingham Palace, September 18, 2022

His Majesty King Charles III held the reception for Heads of State and overseas visitors at Buckingham Palace, September 18, 2022

The source at the Elysee Palace said: ‘The President enjoyed a walk in London with Mme Macron soon after arriving in London on Sunday, September 18. They walked along the river. It was indicated that a range of leaders, including the presidents of America, France and Israel, would travel in cars.

‘This is why Mr Macron travelled to the Buckingham Palace reception on Sunday night by car.’

A Foreign Office source said: ‘The UK was grateful for the words President Macron used to so movingly demonstrate the global affection with which her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was held.

‘It was a fitting tribute to the unique position she held on the world stage that so many world leaders, including the President of France, attended the funeral.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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