Queen Elizabeth snubs Hillary funeral


Wellington : Queen Elizabeth will not send a member of the British royal family to the funeral of Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary next week – a decision dubbed a snub to one of New Zealand’s greatest legends on a newspaper website Friday.

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The New Zealand Herald said a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman had told the paper the Queen would be represented by Governor General Anand Satyanand at Tuesday’s funeral in Auckland.

“The Governor General is the Queen’s personal representative,” the spokeswoman said.

The paper published the story on its website under the headline “Royal Family Snubs Sir Ed”.

It noted that Hillary was one of only 24 Knights of the Garter appointed by the Queen. His success as the first man to step on the summit of Mount Everest was proclaimed on the morning of her coronation in 1953.

“The Everest expedition was a British one, and Hillary’s success was claimed as a huge triumph for Britain,” the paper said.

Television New Zealand announced Friday that it had offered its live broadcast of the funeral free of charge to international radio and TV broadcasters and agencies and arranged a satellite link to Nepal so that it could be screened there.

Chief Executive Rick Ellis said the decision to make the broadcast available without charge was recognition of the unique position Sir Edmund held in the eyes of the world.

Organisations that have requested access to the TVNZ coverage so far include BBC, CNN, the European Broadcasting Union, Al Jazeera, APTN and a number of channels in Australia.