Brazil’s anti-LGBTQ+ president Jair Bolsonaro to attend the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey

Current president of Brazil and candidate for re-election Jair Bolsonaro greets supportes during a campaign rally.

Brazil’s vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ president Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly accepted an invitation to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey.

The conservative politician, who became Brazil’s president on 1 January 2019, will join various political figureheads, relatives and celebrities in mourning the Queen’s passing on 19 September, reports news agency Reuters.

Since assuming power, Bolsonaro has been heavily criticised for his incredibly far-right, populist policies and his anti-LGBTQ+ views. During his political career, the Brazilian president has made several extremely homophobic remarks. In 2002 he said: “If I see two men kissing in the street, I will beat them.”

His anti-LGBTQ+ outbursts didn’t stop after his introduction into office. In 2021, president Jair Bolsonaro mocked LGBTQ+ rights demonstrators according to text messages obtained by Ol Globo. In the exchange, he also said that the COVID-19 vaccine would turn people into alligators and that “young people [have died] of Pfizer”.

Since then, at least 152 transgender people were murdered in 2020 alone in Brazil, with a report finding the country is one of the deadliest countries for trans people in the world.

Who will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?

Other world leaders are expected to attend the proceedings, including Turkey’s anti-LGBTQ+ president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and European royal family members from countries such as Spain, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

President Joe Biden has also confirmed he will be attending the funeral after reporters asked on 9 September in Ohio. President Biden said: “Yes, I don’t know what the details are yet, but I will be going.”

Additionally, her children, including King Charles III and Prince Andrew, as well as her grandchildren Prince William and Prince Harry, are expected to attend the funeral at Westminster Abbey, beginning at 11am.

More details are expected to emerge about attendees and procedures for the day in the near future, including for the official coronation of King Charles III.

Along with several other duties, the King addressed parliament on Monday (12 September) where he gave a heartfelt speech about the influence his mother had on the government, as well as his own duties.

“Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy,” he said.

“That your traditions are ancient we see in the construction of this great hall and the reminders of medieval predecessors of the office to which I have been called.”

Queen Elizabeth II’s body is to be taken from Balmoral Castle to Westminster Hall where she will lie for four days from 14 September to let the UK public pay respects, as well as processions in both London and Windsor and a committal service taking place at St George’s Chapel.