THE PRESIDENT of Armenia sparked fury this morning after he was photographed by a flunky bowing in front of the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall.
Shocking footage captured the moment President Vahagn Khachaturyan was snapped by an aide at the foot of the late monarch's flag-draped English oak coffin.
Strict rules inside the solemn 1,000-year-old building – where our beloved late Queen is lying in state – forbid the use of any cameras.
Those entering the great hall with a specific time slot to pay their last respects are given a briefing beforehand spelling out the rules.
Footage shows the president – one of Vladimir Putin's only allies -being led into Westminster Hall with his entourage shortly before 8am and taken to the VIP walkway overlooking the monarch's coffin.
Moments later he is led down into the queue – among hundreds of other mourners who queued for up to 13 hours overnight – and pauses at the foot of the flag-draped coffin.
As he bows his assistant whips out his mobile phone and takes a snap.
Staff in the hall were left outraged by the incident.
Granny Janet Taylor spotted the dignitary having his picture taken as she watched on TV to see her two sons, who had been queuing for 13 hours, pass the Queen's coffin.
Mrs Taylor, 76, from Bexley, Kent, 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.''
Andrew Kerslake, 52, fumed: "It's just dreadful. He was yapping away on the viewing platform,, laughing and showing no respect.
'YAP YAP YAP'
"There were hundreds of people in that hall – no one was speaking. Only him. Yap, yap, yap, yap. He clearly planned to have his photo taken.
"He and his aide hold back as the group in front passes the coffin. It's an absolute outrage.
"These people are supposed to set an example.
"He knows the rules and would have been told before he went in."
One source said: "The rules are extremely straightforward.
"We simply ask people to behave with respect and not take any photos.
"Everyone has managed to follow those rules to the very letter – apart from this one individual."
Most read in News
Viewers all say the same thing about Queen's grandson, 14, during vigil
Harry & Meg 'found out they'd been uninvited to state reception in the PRESS'
William & Harry show united front together leading Queen's grandchildren
Baby girl, 1, dies in dad's arms after being hit by car on driveway
US President Joe Biden is expected to pay his last respects to the Queen later today after arriving in London last night.
He will join other world leaders tomorrow at her state funeral.
Source: Read Full Article