President and First Lady depart to U.K. for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed departing on an official visit to the United Kingdom | Photo: President’s Office

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed departed on Friday evening on an official visit to the United Kingdom.

President and First Lady will be conveying their condolences and sympathies in person to His Majesty King Charles III and the family of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The late Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday, September 8, 2022, at the age of 96. The Maldives observed three days of mourning with the national flag flown at half-mast.

President Solih and First Lady Fazna had also signed the book of condolence opened at the British High Commission in the Maldives, in memory of Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch whose rule spanned seven decades.

In their joint message, the President and First Lady described Her Majesty’s long and distinguished reign as the finest example of loyalty to duty, sacrifice, and selfless service, as well as the love for her people. They said that she served the UK, the Commonwealth, and the wider international community with the utmost dignity and dedication. 

The message also stated that Her Majesty held an exalted place with the Maldivians and that many people still remember her visit to the Maldives from fifty years ago with great fondness. The President and the First Lady’s message noted that Maldivians held her in the highest regard by referring to her with the singular word “Raanee”, which means Queen, as she was unique in her eminence, and in her tireless work through the Commonwealth to give equal representation to smaller nations like the Maldives.

The President and First Lady will attend the state funeral during the visit and convey their last respects to the late Queen. They are scheduled to conclude the visit and return to the Maldives on September 22, 2022.