Princes William and Harry lead somber vigil by Queen’s coffin | CNN


Prince William, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth II’s other grandchildren kept an eye on their lay in state on Saturday, as the royal family prepared to bid farewell to the late monarch at their state funeral.

The brothers stood for 15 minutes at the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall, where it has been displayed to the public since Wednesday.

They are joined by Princess Anne’s children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, and Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, who are Prince Edward’s children. A royal source told CNN that the Earl and Countess of Wessex were present to support their children as Lewis and James are younger than their cousins.

Harry wore a military uniform during the appearance at the request of King Charles III, a royal source previously told CNN. As a non-working member of the royal family, he has appeared in morning suits at other events.

On Friday, Charles and his siblings did the same after a watchful eye on grandchildren. It comes two days before the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. The emperor died on 8 September after 70 years of rule, leading to a long period of mourning and numerous commemorations across the country.

Grandsons of Queen Elizabeth II hold a watch near their grandmother's coffin in the state at Westminster Hall on Saturday.

William and Harry have put aside long-running tensions to jointly appear at some events. A walkout by the brothers and their wives Katherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in Windsor last weekend came as a surprise and was not previously announced. A source told CNN that William invited the Sussexes to visit the monument left for the Queen and congratulate well-wishers.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie released a joint statement on Saturday thanking their “dear Granny” and “beloved Queen” and expressed their grief over his passing.

“We, like many, thought you would be here forever. And we all miss you dearly,” Prince Andrew’s daughters said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.

“You were our parents, our guide, our loving hand on our back carrying us into this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever. For now dear Granny ‘We just want to say thank you,'” Eugenie and Beatrice said. “The world mourns you and the tribute will truly make you smile. They are all true of the remarkable leader that you are,” the sisters said.

“We are so glad that you are back with Grandpa. Goodbye dear Granny, being your granddaughter has been the honor of our lives and we are very proud of you,” the statement said.

The guard at Westminster Hall lasted 15 minutes.

Earlier on Saturday, King Charles and the Prince of Wales, Prince William, greeted people queuing to see the Queen lying in state at a surprise walkout in London on Saturday.

Members of the royal family were seen shaking hands with well-wishers near Lambeth Bridge. Prince William appeared very excited as he spoke to the crowd and asked several people how long they had been waiting.

Some mourners chanted “Hip Hip Hurray” and “God Save the King” as Charles passed by.

A woman gave Charles a Paddington Bear toy; The fictional bear has been associated with the Queen ever since she appeared in a sketch with the character during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

People have been queuing for hours since let-in-state began at Westminster Hall on Wednesday to see the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.

The government said the line was close to total capacity on Saturday. At lunchtime on Saturday, the government’s queue tracker said the current wait time was 14 hours.

Charles III also visited the Metropolitan Police Headquarters in the Lambeth Borough of London and thanked the police and emergency services officers involved in the planning and implementation of events since the death of the late Queen.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Kundi said during a media briefing on Friday that Monday’s funeral for the Queen would be the “largest single police event” that London’s Metropolitan Police Force has organized.

On Sunday, King Charles will host a reception for “heads of state and official foreign guests” at Buckingham Palace ahead of the late Queen’s funeral.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan accidentally received an invitation to that reception, a source with knowledge of what happened told CNN.

As an official state occasion, the Palace stated that only working members of the royal family would accompany the king. The source told CNN he had “imagined” there had been an administration error. As reported by some media outlets, the couple was not “invited” from the reception.

A Sussex spokesman did not comment.

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