The passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8th has attracted mourners from all stretches of the imagination, from an astoundingly long queue of British civilians waiting to pay their respects to the more surprising guests at her funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19th. Among the royals, famous family friends, and foreign Heads of State like President Joe Biden, two attendees grabbed the attention of viewers for their seemingly random place at the proceedings: Bear Grylls and Sandra Oh.
The two entertainment star’s attendance was actually not that unusual considering both were serving as representatives for organizations that would be expected to send dignitaries to any important event related to The Crown. Grylls was invited as the Chief Scout for the United Kingdom’s Scouts youth program. He’s served as the organization’s figurehead for two terms, starting in 2009. He became an Officer of the British Empire in 2019, and met the Queen on a number of occasions.
The Man vs. Wild star posted a series of photos from the funeral on Instagram with the caption: “It’s a day we will never forget… a truly beautiful testament to our Nation’s Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Rest in Peace. Your duty done. Long Live King Charles…”
Meanwhile, Sandra Oh was invited as part of the Canadian delegation. She was inducted as an officer of the Order of Canada in June 2022 and was joined at the funeral by several other recent inductees including former Olympian Mark Tewksbury, musician Gregory Charles, and Cross of Valour honoree Leslie Arthur Palmer. The Ottawa-born actress, known best for her role as Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy, was officially named one of Canada’s dignitaries by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on September 15th.
Oh posted a photo of her solid black outfit and group shot with her accompanying representatives on Instagram, saying: “Proud to represent 🇨🇦 w/ my fellow Order of Canada & Valour recipients @gregorycharlesofficiel @marktewks @palmerlp26 at Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II funeral at Westminster Abbey today.” See both posts below.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96 earlier this month, which brought forth an extensive collection of tributes, criticisms, jokes, and other reactions. Her death inspired Kanye West to release all of his grudges, Pearl Jam to cover The Beatles’ “Her Majesty,” and evoked a variety of responses from the former Sex Pistols. It’s also led to moments of criticism and defiance ranging from John Oliver’s censored monologue to a UK channel’s snubbing of the funeral in favor of The Emoji Movie.