A Vladimir Putin ally has sparked outrage for breaking a no-photo rule in front of the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall. Her Majesty has been lying-in-state in the Hall since Thursday, allowing thousands upon thousands of members of the public – and, more recently, important officials from other countries – to file past and pay their respects to the monarch who died last Thursday after 70 years on the throne.
Many commentators have drawn attention to the sombre atmosphere of the queues leading to the Hall and of the mourners walking past the coffin itself – one much quieter than normal day-to-day life and, in the second stage of the event, one without mobile phones.
President Vahagn Khachaturyan has, however, been caught allegedly breaking this rule.
Photos shared online show an aide to the Armenian President photographing his leader bowing in front of the Queen’s coffin.
Staff in the Hall were left outraged the by incident, according to The Sun.
One Briton, Janet Taylor, who spotted the photo-taking while watching on television her two sons pass the Queen’s coffin said: “It was very, very disrespectful. Totally unforgivable in my book.
“He should be ashamed of himself.
“Let’s hope he shows more respect if he goes to the funeral.”
Another, Andrew Kerslake, added: “He clearly planned to have his photo taken.
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A sourced involved in arrangements surrounding the Queen’s lying-in-state also told the paper that “the rules are extremely straightforward”, adding: “Everyone has managed to follow those rules to the very letter – apart from this one individual.”
Queues to see the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall have now been closed ahead of Her Majesty’s state funeral tomorrow, on September 19.
Vahagn Khachaturyan has described Russia as his country’s “largest economic partner”.
Putin has, in turn, branded Armenia a “strategic ally”.
No Russian officials have been invited to the Queen’s funeral, despite the country officially having diplomatic relations with the UK.
Delegates from other questionable countries, including North Korea and Iran, have, however, received invitations.