BBC under fire as broadcaster ‘promotes’ Trudeau to Canada’s head of state in gaffe

The BBC has been mocked for mistake Justin Trudeau as his country’s head of state. The Canadian Prime Minister attended the Queen’s state funeral on Monday, among other prime ministers, heads of state and presidents from around the world. But Mr Trudeau was mistakenly described by BBC presenter Kirsty Young as Canada’s head of state.

Talking about former US President Barack Obama and Mr Trudeau’s opinion of the late Monarch, Ms Young said: “Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau talking about the wisdom that came with her that, when they were able to have conversations, it wasn’t just that they were meeting a sovereign, it wasn’t just that they were meeting a fellow head of state, they were meeting someone who had a kind of institutional memory that went back 70 years.”

The comments were picked up by BBC viewers as an implication the Queen was a “fellow head of state” next to Mr Trudeau and Mr Obama.

But in Canada, royal assent is required for bills to become law as well as in any other Commonwealth country.

Mr Trudeau has been the Prime Minister of Canada since 2015.

Tens of thousands have filled the capital to pay their last respects just a few hours after the last person had filed past the Queen’s coffin, bringing to a close the symbolic ritual.

Presidents and prime ministers from across the globe filled the Abbey, with US President Joe Biden among the mourners alongside France’s President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Two of the Queen’s great-grandchildren, future king Prince George, aged nine, and his seven-year-old sister Princess Charlotte, joined their parents the Prince and Princess of Wales at the state funeral, after reaching an age where they can participate in the national event.

William had walked behind his grandmother’s coffin with his brother the Duke of Sussex and his cousin Peter Phillips, following in the footsteps of Charles and his siblings.

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Westminster Abbey was the venue for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s 1947 wedding and now this ancient place of worship was the fitting venue for her funeral.

Among the congregation were all six living former prime ministers – Sir John Major, Sir Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Theresa May, David Cameron and Boris Johnson – with members of the Cabinet led by the current premier, Liz Truss.

A large number of minor royals were invited including the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband former England rugby star Mike Tindall, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their spouses, and Sarah, Duchess of York.

Other attendees included a group of Chelsea Pensioners in their red tunics and Knights of the Garter in their velvet cloaks.

A number of people recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic were also invited.