Former PMs, Canadian celebrities join delegation for queen's funeral in London

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OTTAWA — Canada is sending a handful of celebrities alongside its official delegation to the queen's state funeral Monday in London, England.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and their spouses are leading the delegation, which departs Friday, though it's unclear whether all guests will travel on the same aircraft.

The group will include former governors general Michaëlle Jean and David Johnston as well as former prime ministers Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.

The Prime Minister's Office did not respond to a question about whether it invited Simon's immediate predecessor, Julie Payette, who resigned in January 2021 amid allegations of workplace harassment.

The delegation at Westminster Abbey will include Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed and Métis National Council President Cassidy Caron.

The clerk of the Privy Council, Janice Charette, will attend, as well as Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ralph Goodale. An unspecified number of military and RCMP officials will join their uniformed colleagues from other Commonwealth countries.

Meanwhile, former Olympian Mark Tewksbury, musician Gregory Charles, actress Sandra Oh and decorated coast guard officer Leslie Arthur Palmer will take part in a procession of recipients of national honours.

The Sept. 19 funeral is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. local time, or 6 a.m. ET.

In Ottawa, a national commemorative ceremony Monday at Christ Church Cathedral will include former prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2022.

Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press