UK tabloids rip Armenian leader over photos with queen’s coffin
Posted on September. 23. 2022
BY Brad Dress
British tabloids on Sunday rebuked Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan after a staffer snapped a photo of him posing in front of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, pointing out the Eurasian leader broke strict rules inside the 1,000-year-old chamber.
The Daily Mail wrote that Khachaturyan “copped flak” from bystanders for “loudly rabbiting on to his entourage” and then “bowing at the late monarch’s coffin as one of his lackies snapped some pictures on his mobile phone.”
London’s Westminster Hall, where the queen is lying in state, forbids photo-taking and viewers are encouraged to be quiet and respectful.
The viewing has been open to the public since Wednesday and has seen a huge queue as thousands of visitors seek to pay their respects to the late monarch. VIPs are given special access, allowing them to avoid the long wait.
The Sun published a story saying “staff in the hall were left outraged by the incident” involving the Armenian president.
Andrew Kerslake, 52, told The Sun that hundreds of people were in Westminster Hall and “no one was speaking.”
“Only him. Yap, yap, yap, yap,” Kerslake told the tabloid, accusing the Armenian leader of laughing during the viewing. “It’s an absolute outrage.”
The late monarch will lie in state until her funeral service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, which will reportedly be attended by hundreds of international leaders.
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden also paid respects to the late queen on Sunday and will attend the funeral service.
It’s unclear if Khachaturyan, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, will attend the funeral service as well.
His country was in the spotlight after a violent exchange broke out between Armenian forces and neighboring Azerbaijan. The Armenian leader met with Putin over the summer to discuss the longstanding conflict with Azerbaijan.