FACT CHECK: Did King Charles III Ban The Zimbabwean President From Attending Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral?
A post shared on Facebook allegedly shows a letter from King Charles III rejecting Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s request to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
There is no evidence King Charles III authored such a letter. The British Embassy in Zimbabwe confirmed in a tweet that the claim is false.
A large number of foreign dignitaries attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II Sept. 19, including multiple heads of state from Africa, according to Reuters. Multiple heads of state either did not receive an invite or declined to attend, TIME Magazine reported.
The Facebook post allegedly shows a letter sent by Buckingham Palace officially declining president Mnangagwa from attending the funeral. The letter cites “restrictions on travel” for those in the country’s government and reports of human rights abuses in the country.
“In a rather ironic development, the tone of the letter that was a response to the one from Zimbabwe indicates that Zimbabwe president, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa begged to be sent invitation to the event that would hold on Monday, September 19 in London, the British capital city,” the post reads in part.
The letter is digitally altered. While some readers have been banned from attending the funeral, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, no credible news reports exist suggesting any African leader has been banned.
The British embassy in Zimbabwe posted a tweet debunking the claim. “President Mnangagwa has been invited to attend the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on Monday,” it reads. “The letter below is fake.”
President Mnangagwa has been invited to attend the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
The letter below is fake. pic.twitter.com/cGIGPzIpin
— UKinZimbabwe (@UKinZimbabwe) September 15, 2022
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava was sent to represent Mnangagwa at the funeral, according to Zimbabwean-based news outlet Newziana. Mnangagwa was scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly on the same day, the outlet reports.
Check Your Fact has reached out to the British embassy in Zimbabwe for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received. (RELATED: Are Funerals Scheduled For September 19 Canceled Due To The Queen’s Funeral?)
This is not the first time misinformation has spread about someone being banned from the Queen’s funeral. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim that former President Donald Trump had been prohibited from attending.