REVEALED: Woman who appeared to be shunned by man shaking hands with visitors at Queen’s funeral is the wife of the Argentine ambassador to England
- Alessandra Viggiano Marra became something of a viral sensation yesterday
- Westminster Abbey doorman shook hands with three guests but not Ms Marra
- The diplomat was seen appearing to mutter under her breath after the incident
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
The mourner seemingly blanked by a man welcoming visitors to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral is the wife of the Argentine ambassador to the UK, MailOnline can reveal.
Alessandra Viggiano Marra, who is also a diplomat herself, became something of a viral sensation for her less-than-impressed reaction to not getting a handshake when entering the church.
TV footage from the ceremony showed a doorman greeting a number of guests to the venue by shaking their hand.
When Ms Marra, an embassy minister, then approached the entrance she reached out her palm expecting a similar acknowledgment – but the man appeared to brush her hand aside with his left arm.
The diplomat then seemed to mutter under her breath as she walked into the abbey for the service.
On social media, many pointed out that the incident will have been seen by some four billion people, who had been predicted to watch ‘the biggest live TV event in history’.
TV footage from yesterday’s ceremony showed a doorman greeting a number of guests to the church by shaking their hand
When Alessandra Viggiano Marra then approached the entrance she reached out her palm expecting a similar acknowledgment
However, the man appeared to brush her hand aside with his left arm. The guest then seemed to mutter under her breath as she walked into the venue
Married to Ambassador Javier Figueroa, Ms Marra joined her husband at Buckingham Palace last year for a meeting with the late monarch – held virtually due to Covid restrictions at the time
The couple, pictured outside the Argentine Embassy with Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, Alistair Harrison (left), were in London to present ‘letters of credence’ – the formal papers accrediting an ambassador as head of a diplomatic mission
Married to Ambassador Javier Figueroa, Ms Marra joined her husband at Buckingham Palace last year for a meeting with the late monarch – held virtually due to Covid restrictions at the time.
The couple were in London to present ‘letters of credence’ – the formal papers accrediting an ambassador as head of a diplomatic mission.
Mr Figueroa, meanwhile, recently told of how the memory of the Falklands War is an ‘open wound’ for Argentina.
Speaking in May to mark the 40th anniversary of the conflict, he described the wrangling over the islands’ sovereignty as ‘ridiculous’, and compared the relationship between the islands and Argentina with that of North and South Korea.
He said most young people in the UK have no idea ‘Britain has a beef with Argentina regarding the South Atlantic’.
The issue of the islands’ sovereignty does not have ‘high visibility’ in public opinion in the UK, he said, but in Argentina it has ‘huge visibility in public opinion and the ruling class’.
The handshake incident was widely discussed on social media, as one user wrote: ‘I just got 2nd, 3rd and 4th hand embarrassment from that.’
Another said: ‘If this was me 20 years from now I’d still be waking up in a cold sweat just at the memory of the shame.’
A third added: ‘We need the back story’.
Industry experts suggested a staggering 4.1 billion viewers could watch the Queen’s funeral – smashing the previous record of 3.5billion who reportedly watched boxing great Muhammad Ali open the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
If their predictions are correct, the ceremony would eclipse all other broadcasting records – including the Live8 concerts in 2005, Sydney’s New Year Eve firework celebrations in 2010 and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
King Charles had appeared tearful at today’s service, that ended with two minutes of silence, the Last Post and the national anthem. The monarch also looked emotional as he saluted when his mother left Wellington Arch in a hearse this afternoon.
On a day of pomp and poignant symbolism, grief was etched on the faces of Charles, his siblings and children as well as the huge crowds who swamped The Mall, Whitehall and Parliament Square to bade farewell to the beloved monarch as her coffin was carried from the Abbey on a gun carriage.
Members of the Royal Family, including the King, marched poignantly behind, while others including the Princess of Wales, her children George and Charlotte, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, all looked on at the crowds as they passed them in vehicles.
The poignant scenes followed an extraordinary and emotional state funeral attended by 2,000 VIPs, royals, prime ministers and several hundred ordinary Britons chosen by the Queen, who died 11 days ago.
The Archbishop of Canterbury described the Queen as having touched ‘a multitude of lives’ and having been a ‘joyful’ figure for many.
She was head of state but also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and in a personal touch, the wreath adorning her coffin had a handwritten note from the King. The message said: ‘In loving and devoted memory.’
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