LONDON: President Droupadi Murmu arrived in London on Saturday evening to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and to offer condolences on behalf of the Indian government.
Queen Elizabeth II, who died aged 96 at her summer residence of Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, is lying-in-state at Westminster Hall before the funeral at Westminster Abbey on the morning of September 19. President Murmu is on a three-day visit to the UK, during which she will attend Monday's funeral service and is also invited to a reception for world leaders hosted at Buckingham Palace by King Charles III on Sunday evening.
''President Droupadi Murmu emplanes for London, United Kingdom, to attend the state funeral of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and offer condolences on behalf of the Government of India,'' the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted as the plane departed from Delhi earlier.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had visited the British High Commission in New Delhi on September 12 to convey the country's condolences, a day after India observed a day of national mourning.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed earlier this week that the President will be travelling to London to offer condolences on behalf of the government of India.
''In the 70 years of reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II, India-UK ties have evolved, flourished and strengthened immensely. She played an important role in the welfare of millions of people around the world as Head of the Commonwealth," the MEA statement read.