Saturday 17 September 2022; London, United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today (170922) paid his respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II as her body lies in state at the Palace of Westminster, London.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Rachael Marape.

The visit precedes a meeting with King Charles III at noon on Sunday (180922) and the couple’s attendance at a massive reception at Buckingham Palace later that day being hosted by the King and the Royal Family for leaders and heads of governments who have travelled in to London to observe the burial of the Queen.

The Queen’s coffin continues to lie in State at Westminster Hall where thousands of people, including leaders, have been filing past to pay their last respects ahead of the State funeral on Monday (190922), many of them queuing for up to nearly 24 hours, according to the BBC.

Prime Minister Marape and Mrs Marape will then join leaders at the State Funeral on Monday.

On Friday (160922), Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae joined the Prime Minister in London to also observe the funeral of the Queen.

The PNG High Commission London office and the small PNG community in London welcomed the Governor-General Friday evening, as they did the Prime Minister on Thursday (150922).

Prime Minister Marape, in his speech at the small gathering, said PNG valued its place in the Commonwealth.

He said: “Papua New Guinea is privileged to be a member of the Commonwealth family. I see intrinsic value in PNG being a part of the global family of nations.

“The world is a marketplace, and the Commonwealth pathway brings us closer to people throughout the world.

“United Kingdom itself is a global marketplace in the global financial world. It is a good place to link with,” said PM Marape.

The Prime Minister is keen on exploring opportunities existing in United Kingdom, including the engagement of Papua New Guinean soldiers to serve in the military here and education opportunities for PNG students, as well as how the Commonwealth link can be tapped into for agricultural markets for PNG.