Ben Roberts-Smith to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London

Ben Roberts-Smith will travel to London for the Queen’s funeral, the decorated veteran confirmed.

Mr. Roberts-Smith, who is awaiting the outcome of a defamation lawsuit he has launched against various media outlets for publishing allegations of committing war crimes, which he denies, said he was invited to the funeral as the recipient of the Victoria Cross.

“I am deeply saddened by Her Majesty’s death, I had immense respect for her and she was someone I greatly admired,” Roberts-Smith said in a statement to NCA NewsWire Tuesday.

“In every interaction I had with the queen, she was warm, insightful and engaging. She was a magnificent monarch, a stoic guide and, above all, a beautiful lady.

“I feel extremely honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the Queen and honored that she saw fit to include Victoria Cross recipients in her funeral procession.”

The Queen is said to have made arrangements to invite Victoria Cross recipients when planning her funeral.

It is the highest accolade in the British praise system, awarded for bravery “in the presence of the enemy”.

Mr. Roberts-Smith received the Australian version of the award in 2011 for his actions during a battle in Afghanistan in 2010.

A judge overseeing Mr. Roberts-Smith’s libel trial against Nine Newspapers heard both sides’ concluding arguments in late July and is still considering his verdict.

SUPREME / FEDERAL COURT
Camera iconMr. Roberts-Smith will attend the Queen’s funeral. NCA NewsWire / Dylan Coker Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr. Roberts-Smith’s attorneys are hoping that a ruling in his favor will clear his name and get the largest libel compensation in history.

On the other hand, a conclusion for Nine could be a vindication of their claims that she killed unarmed prisoners.

The Queen’s state funeral will take place on Monday at Westminster Abbey in London.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will attend alongside his partner Jodie Haydon, Governor General David Hurley and his wife Linda, and the UK’s acting High Commissioner Lynette Wood.

Mr. Albanese said Buckingham Palace had also asked for 10 “normal” Australians who had made contributions to their local communities to be invited.

This group includes wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott and several people who have received local hero awards. They will travel to London aboard Mr Albanese’s VIP jet.

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